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Mariners Develop High Tech Pirate Repellents

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the scuttle-the-ship dept.

The Military 830

Hugh Pickens writes "NPR reports that owners of ships that ply the dangerous waters near Somalia are looking at options to repel pirates including slippery foam, lasers, electric fences, water cannons and high-intensity sound — almost anything except guns. One defense is the Force 80 squirt gun with a 3-inch nozzle that can send 1,400 gallons a minute 100 yards in any direction. 'It is a tremendous force of water that will knock over anything in its path and will also flood a pirate's ship very quickly,' says Roger Barrett James of the the Swedish company Unifire. Next is the Mobility Denial System, a slippery nontoxic foam that can be sprayed on just about any surface making it impossible to walk or climb even with the aid of a harness. The idea would be to spray the pirate's vessel as it approached, or to coat ropes, ladders, steps and the hull of the ship that's under attack. The Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, a high-powered directional loudspeaker allows a ship to hail an approaching vessel more than a mile away. 'Knowing that they've lost the element of surprise is half the battle,' says Robert Putnam of American Technology Corp. The LRAD has another feature — a piercing "deterrent tone" that sounds a bit like a smoke detector alarm with enough intensity to cause extreme pain and even permanent hearing loss for anyone directly in the beam that comes from the device. But Capt. John Konrad, who blogs for the Web site Gcaptain.com, says no anti-pirate device is perfect. 'The best case scenario is that you find these vessels early enough that you can get a Navy ship detached to your location and let them handle the situation.'"

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Best pirate repellent of all (5, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689853)

An M-16 with a full clip.

        Brett

Re:Best pirate repellent of all (5, Insightful)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689937)

but how long before a scared poorly trained sailor has emptied that clip? whereas a watercannon and LRAD wont run out of ammunition, and are probably a bit easier to aim

Re:pirate repellents (5, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690051)

"pirate repellents"

WTF are we talking about... TICKS???

"We're getting boarded... must not have sprayed the pirate repellent last night..."

The best pirate repellent is two squads of armed marines. Just have the ships pick them up in the port before the gulf of Aden... and drop them off in the port after, where they can board the ship going the other way.

Much cheaper than flooding the area with warships... and more effective to boot.

Re:pirate repellents (2, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690189)

I'm thinking along the same lines...

Why bother with all the new 'tech' that is probably expensive, etc. And just use something known to work....a simple fucking gun?!?!?

Geez, if this were my ship, I know I'd be packing some serious heat. A boat starts coming towards me....>bang I do that for my home if an intruder comes in, why not on the high seas where you KNOW a threat like this is not un-common??

Re:pirate repellents (3, Insightful)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690443)

Lever back on the testosterone, pal. If the movie Aliens taught us anything, it's that sheer rough-n-ready manpower is not always the answer.

Marines cost to feed and shelter. They take up space that could otherwise be used for crew and cargo. They cost to train. They want to be paid all the time they're on guard. They're not easily replicated or rapidly distributed for a high-demand world. And they're still fragile meatsacks, whatever their will to fight might be.

It makes sense to layer technological solutions onto the manpower ones.

If muskets worked before... (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690065)

I would think that if the Royal Navy was abolish piracy 200 years ago with a mixture of cannon balls, musket fire, and a hangman's noose, then, the M-16 would work pretty well.

Re:If muskets worked before... (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690205)

This is my point. They were trained navy men, not merchants.

Re:If muskets worked before... (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690383)

not exclusively. see for example, the Merchant Marine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Merchant_Marine#History [wikipedia.org]

also, since we're talking about history, privateers for governments (individual civilian captains with a letter from the government recognizing them) were also commonly used tools for fighting piracy.

Re:If muskets worked before... (2, Interesting)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690207)

I think the poster's point was that the sailors using the weapons weren't actually trained military folk, but your basic sailors on merchant and shipping vessels.

Re:Best pirate repellent of all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690175)

Well-- IIRC, the standard magazine capacity is 30 rounds-- so that's 30 trigger pulls in semi-auto, or 10 pulls in 3 round burst mode.

I would recommend a high capacity cartridge, or do what we used to in the Marines... Have extra's pre-loaded.

You can also strap a Grenade launcher onto it (very good for sinking pirate skiffs), and a Bayonet for up close and personal negotiations.

The M16 is very light, durable, and mobile. It would be faster to move it into position than a bulk water apparatus.

Re:Best pirate repellent of all (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690477)

Exactly. Just yesterday an all-russian tanker crew fought off a pirate ship with water cannons.

Re:Best pirate repellent of all (1)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689949)

I'm not going out there to the Gulf of Aden unless I got one of these [wikipedia.org] at a minimum, preferably something more long the lines of this [wikipedia.org] . An M16 isn't bad though but I might need more oomph....

Re:Best pirate repellent of all (4, Informative)

Kratisto (1080113) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689965)

I believe you mean a magazine. A clip is a device used to hold the cartridges in place to make them easier to load into the magazine.

Re:Best pirate repellent of all (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690055)

Since when has ignorance ever been an obstacle to macho posturing?

Re:Best pirate repellent of all (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690075)

An M-16 with a full clip.

Some 3-inch deck guns [wikipedia.org] are a much better repellent. Don't screw around with shooting the pirates; sink them.

Re:Best pirate repellent of all (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690141)

Doh! Screwed up the link to the 3-inch guns [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Best pirate repellent of all (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690145)

Hell with that pussy gun. Big rocket launchers and 4 of these on every boat....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalanx_CIWS [wikipedia.org]

arm your crew with these....

http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/02/aa-12-automatic.html [wired.com]

High sea pirates need to be turned into hamburger floating on the waves to feed the fishes.

Re:Best pirate repellent of all (2, Informative)

L0stm4n (322418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690375)

Except an M-16 uses a MAGAZINE, not a clip.

But it offends screaming me me prohibitionists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690399)

They don't want evil gun objects for self-defense on land or sea. They will talk up tech that doesn't exist because gun objects are EVIL!

They will propose the same "wait for the police" attitude that is failing land lubbers, let alone solitary ships on the much vaster oceans.

It seems to me even a few weapons under lock and key on even a few boats that want it would be the way to go, but gun prohibitionists will find some reason to doubt it no matter what.

Re:Best pirate repellent of all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690473)

Wrong. The best pirate repellent is a ninja.

Re:Best pirate repellent of all (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690487)

Probably be better off with a long gun... but the message I got from TFA and TFS was that they wanted to avoid using firearms, and wanted non-lethal methods. Running with a military escort isn't always an option, nor is running armed.

I like the water cannon best. It's dead simple, and it wouldn't be hard to set up a computer-aimed automated defense system... set yourself up with dozens of these, pumping out seawater, and reinforce the bow to withstand a ramming. In the event of pirate attack, go to full throttle and use water cannons to deter boarders.

Perfect anti-pirate device (5, Insightful)

indy_Muad'Dib (869913) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689863)

a firearm, worked as a defense against boarding parties hundreds of years ago, it will work just as well now.

Re:Perfect anti-pirate device (1)

indy_Muad'Dib (869913) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689883)

also, frosty piss and Natalie Portman with hot grits just to get it out of the way.

A better plan? (5, Interesting)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689871)

Is it more humane to flood those little pirate boats and let the pirates drown then just shooting them in the head?

Bettery yet, why not take x number of ships, create a convoy that is protected by x number of war ships from different nations and run them through? Each nation gets it's chance to be the flag ship so that eveyone gets the credit. .

It worked good enough in WWII and would work now, unless the pirates get smart and buy a bunch of used U-Boats. But then sinking their loot would kind of defeat the purpose wouldn't it?

You start killing pirates and making it really risky to be a pirate and there won't be any more pirates willing to take the risk. Kinda like the old saying, "There are old pirates and there are bold pirates, but there are no old bold pirates".

Re:A better plan? (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690083)

Is it more humane to flood those little pirate boats and let the pirates drown then just shooting them in the head?

Pirates have access to the same life preserver technology the rest of us do — better than most, because they can keep the best of what they have stolen. Ditto for life rafts.

Personally, I could give one tenth of one shit what happens to any pirate, but it would probably be too much effort. If I'm on the ocean and you announce (or display) intent to board my ship by force, and I have a 20mm cannon, I'm going to fucking open up and turn your shit into sawdust.

If you can afford a boat worth taking by force, then you should be able to afford a .50 cal machine gun and find someone to source it for you.

Unfortunately there are a lot of countries which don't believe in your right to protect yourself. Mexico is among them; a lot of people have been boarded and had their boat seized by the Mexican authorities because they had a mere rifle for self-defense. So if you do carry firearms on your boat (you'd be fucking insane not to, but whatever) you're going to need some VERY good hidey-holes. I suggest actually putting them behind a panel that you can easily break through; the people who board your boat legally (which they can do on pretty much any pretext; even your car is legally better-protected and the powers-that-be can take that away from you at almost any pretext in most countries) are quite used to looking for smuggling compartments.

Re:A better plan? (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690453)

If Mexican corrupt government boarded for the crime of having "1 rifle", they didn't have enough.

They should have had a rifle for everybody, plus a few 50 cals aimed on the dumb asses who tried coming on the ship.

Re:A better plan? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690433)

Because for untrained merchant marine people, it is easier to aim a firehose than to shoot to kill.

Why no guns (4, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690533)

The ships do not want to carry fire arms not because they don't want to kill the pirates. Carrying fire arms is a safety issue and a legal issue. Some countries would not let a ship armed with machines into their ports. Guns and ammo are dangerous in a fire. And they would attract vandals and thieves who want to steal the guns and ammo. So it is to protect the ship and its crew, they don't want to carry a gun. If they can kill the pirates without guns, they would do so. It is not a question of trying to be humane to the pirates, just sensible precautions to protect the crew.

Wait a minute (5, Funny)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689885)

Now hold on just a minute, I thought the best pirate repellant was a good, old-fashioned lawsuit. Are you telling me the RIAA LIED to me? I am shocked, SHOCKED I say.

Re:Wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690561)

Nope...the best pirate repellent is KY. Read the post please!

what about the microwave pain gun? (2, Interesting)

krakround (1065064) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689889)

Sounds like a perfect application. No one is really concerned about the comfort of pirates.

Re:what about the microwave pain gun? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689945)

Given that said gun is designed for extremely low penetration(skin surface only) and microwaves tend to interact with water, I'd be less than wholly surprised if taking a quick seawater dip, and wearing long sleeves, would be enough to allow you to approach and fire on the emitter.

I could certainly be wrong(and I'd hope, though not necessarily expect, that Raytheon would test something like that before the started trying to sell them); but the world is full of high-tech wizbangs that can be defeated by trivial countermeasures.

Why? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27689895)

Why don't they just use guns? Killing a bunch of pirates will not lead to "escalation". It will simply make it too dangerous for the pirates to be pirates. The very reason they're able to do it right now is that it's not dangerous to them at all because of people pussy-footing around them. If you just start killing them, a lot less of them will be willing to be pirates, because it will be too dangerous. It'd be pretty easy to staff ships with gunmen that are far better equipped and better trained than the pirates.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689987)

Actually, in their minds, it will make the pirates more willing to kill. After all, if people will potentially shooting at you, you're more likely to shoot first if someone looks funny. Frankly, I'm a fan of the convoy idea. Heck. One destroyer could protect a dozen commercial vessels, I'm sure.

Re:Why? (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690571)

The next logical step will then be exploitation of class warfare memes to make the shipping companies pay for the destroyer. Which is probably a lot more cost than they will be willing/able to absorb. Arming merchants is a far more cost effective step for similar benefit. Face it, you just don't like the idea of someone who isn't employed by a government having a weapon. It's ok for you to feel that way, but be honest. The problem with that mode of thinking is the distinction drawn between people employed by a government and those not employed by a government. They're all still people, with all the attendant weaknesses of our kind.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690305)

Because many ports of call won't allow a ship with armed men on it to enter. Do you really think we would allow Long Beach to be full with a bunch of well armed container ships? Once you enter a countries waters, you have to play by their rules. And that typically means you can't go there armed. Being on a ship doesn't change that. If I can't buy a 50 cal, why should I let some foreign sailor into my port with one.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690403)

Because if the pirates get an upperhand and take over the ship despite the firepower used against them, they will score a bunch of guns rather than just cheap consumer goods.

What about the code? (4, Funny)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689939)

Does these guys not accept a parley?!

Re:What about the code? (1, Insightful)

Massacrifice (249974) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690377)

No, they don't. Which is why we are all looking for something to convince them to stay home and watch TV or play soccer rather than boarding cargos 300 miles offshore. Maybe unfucking-up their homeland of Somalia would be a better solution. But we can't do that, can we? 'cause there's not enough money to be made from it. There _was_ money to be made from fucking it up, though.

Re:What about the code? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690551)

Does these guys not accept a parley?!

Actually its more a set of guidelines than an actual code.

Best Anti-Pirate device? (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689957)

A well trained and silent ninja.

Re:Best Anti-Pirate device? (1)

FSWKU (551325) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690061)

Ninjas who also come disguised as Navy SEAL's with sniper rifles.

Re:Best Anti-Pirate device? (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690361)

To be fair, ninjas and special operations/forces are pretty much the same thing. Ninjas were pretty much feudal Japan's special forces. Their legendary superhuman abilities and magical powers are merely the results of their skill and efficiency. The incredible feats performed by the Navy SEALs and other special forces, while not as easily attributed to magical powers, their feats are often considered superhuman in that the average person could never perform the kinds of things SEALs can.

In short: NavySEALs == Ninjas

Re:Best Anti-Pirate device? (2, Informative)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690547)

Ninjas who also come disguised as Navy SEAL's with sniper rifles.

Why disguise them as anything? Disguises only matter if you can actually see the target.
You can't see ninjas, they're invisible.

Re:Best Anti-Pirate device? (4, Insightful)

Pitr (33016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690203)

A well trained and silent ninja.

I submit to you that stating "well trained and silent" before "ninja" is redundant. If one is lacking in either training or the ability to be silent, it precludes one's propensity for ninja-ness.

Q-boats (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689969)

Piracy is a crime and should be treated as such. If there's a rash of break-ins in your hometown you don't recommend that every home owner goes out and buys a gun, you track down the criminals responsible and put them to justice.

It's well known that the pirates are getting inside information on ship locations and cargoes from associates in Europe. Feed a false tip into the system and arrest the pirates that come calling. Don't try to arm civilians to fight off what could be a relatively well trained and well armed fighting force, you'll just piss of the criminals and they'll be that much more likely to start killing people.

Re:Q-boats (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690093)

If there's a rash of break-ins in your hometown you don't recommend that every home owner goes out and buys a gun, you track down the criminals responsible and put them to justice.

Why not do both?

Re:Q-boats (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690129)

Piracy is a crime and should be treated as such. If there's a rash of break-ins in your hometown you don't recommend that every home owner goes out and buys a gun, you track down the criminals responsible and put them to justice

Actually, I would recommend that every home owner buy a gun. If you shoot the guys breaking in, they won't do it again.

The fact of the matter is, pirates are NOT criminals. They are pirates. They are completely outside the law and anyone has a right to kill a pirate on the high seas. That was what worked 200 years ago, and its only because the surrenderists are in charge that piracy and lawlessness have made a comeback.

I'm sick of hearing about how people should trust their government for safety, when it won't do anything to guarantee it.

Re:Q-boats (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690501)

You mean Bush and Co? Cuz they were the ones who were in charge when Piracy in the Gulf of Aden reached its current level.

No, there's no real point to this post. I just felt like pointing and laughing.

Re:Q-boats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690147)

Whats wrong with killing burglars and home invaders? DOJ stats show armed civilians do just fine in such situations.

And pirates (basically somali teenagers) are well trained? hahahahahah.

The point is to kill the criminals before they board your ship/homes. That way they will never board any more ships/homes.

Re:Q-boats (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690397)

Piracy is a crime and should be treated as such. If there's a rash of break-ins in your hometown you don't recommend that every home owner goes out and buys a gun,

You may not, but I would. Especially if I had reason to believe that the local police were getting a kickback from those breaking in. In this case we have reason to believe that what passes for a government in Somalia is getting at least a kickback (if not sponsoring) the pirates.

Re:Q-boats (1)

Rynd (1088877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690471)

If there's a rash of break-ins in your hometown you don't recommend that every home owner goes out and buys a gun,

Actually, yes. And it works too. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1818862/posts [freerepublic.com]

Re:Q-boats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690495)

If there's a rash of break-ins in your hometown you don't recommend that every home owner goes out and buys a gun

Why not?

Mobility Denial Sytem (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689991)

These guys didn't watch Mythbusters [wikipedia.org] last night, did they?

Privateers (5, Interesting)

ring-eldest (866342) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689997)

How about we reinstate the time honored tradition of privateering? Every privateer gets a representative from a multi-national body of privateer regulators. Kill pirates, take their shit, take their ships. No more pirates.

Re:Privateers (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690223)

You don't even need a representative. You just use remote monitoring. Any break in monitoring has to be explained in front of a court. You'd have to prove you were competent, though, we don't need people taking a bunch of arms out and losing them to pirates.

Re:Privateers (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690509)

Do you think the pirates doing the pirating have anything worth taking?

There is real money involved, and tracing it might well end up leading to some interesting places; but they are all on shore(as with anything else, management is the place to be when it comes to crime). The seaborne component is a bunch of scrawny kids, with cheap eastern block crap and outboard motors. I'd be shocked if you could cover the gas money, much less merc wages, off the proceeds of a pirate hunt.

Snipers worked pretty well once... (1)

dennypayne (908203) | more than 5 years ago | (#27689999)

Why not just hire sniper or two to make the trip with you?

Anything but guns (1)

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690011)

I understand the liability issues involved in stocking guns on a non-military ship (especially a commercial ship), but some of these options sound just as riddled with problems as a simple gun safe that the captain alone has the combo to.

Imagine that slippery foam stuff accidentally being unleashed all over the deck.
Imagine some crew members thinking it would be fun to wake up a crew mate with that LRAD and accidentally causing permanent deafness.
That spray gun sounds pretty awesome (I'd buy two of 'em, and split the crew into two teams on a weekend and let them have at it) but it too has liability issues.

All the lengths these shipping companies go to to keep from stocking "real guns" on board seem like more of an "appearance to others" issue.
Since when do shipping companies worry about their PR?

I'm not in the business nor do I know anyone in the business so I'm sure there is more to it than I can see from here, but these problems seem simpler than they are being treated.

Re:Anything but guns (4, Insightful)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690255)

I wouldn't at all be surprised if the real problem is that the average commercial sailor would say, "Hey, if I wanted to be in the military, I would've joined the military! I don't want to shoot guns OR be shot at, thank you very much!"

Re:Anything but guns (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690325)

I think it has less to do with "PR" (as this thread, and the various newspaper ones I've seen, suggests, there are a lot of people who would be delighted to have a feed of "daily dead pirates" and, even if the public didn't like it, it is hardly difficult to gloss over what happens in a desolate patch of open sea) and more to do with the legal status of armed ships.

If you want to transport cargo, you have to deal with the regulations of all the various ports, territorial waters, and whatnot you pass through on the trip.

WTF? JUST KILL THEM! (5, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690031)

I thought the whole idea of not arming crews was to prevent possible death to the crews. Do these people think that only applies to GUNS, and not other forms of arms? The pirates are armed with guns, RPGs and the like, not fucking water pistols. They do not have a "stun" setting. Does anyone in their right mind think the pirates, after getting a ship flooded or tasered aren't going to actually use the weapons THEY have? Do they expect the pirates to say "Gosh, you fought fair and humanely. We'll just ignore all that extra effort, pain and discomfort."

Wrong.

How about just adding armed and trained guards to the ships? Maybe armed and trained escort ships? Q-boats? A Naval destroyer sitting in the main bay, shelling their HQ?

Or is this just the kinder, gentler pirates of the 21st century?

Convoy (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690097)

Maybe armed and trained escort ships?

Bingo [wikipedia.org] .

Re:WTF? JUST KILL THEM! (5, Interesting)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690499)

Newsweek just had an article on why killing pirates might be a bad idea. Basically, the pirates have a "code" that they live by which includes treating their hostages well. Their piracy is pretty much an economic transaction. Starting to shoot pirates might make them rethink how they treat their hostages.

Not that I agree with their assessment, but it's an interesting idea that escalating an economic situation to one of life or death might have adverse effects on the innocents involved.

Why the hell... (0, Troll)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690039)

Why the hell NOT guns?

It's what the pirates use. And it's been used for hundreds of years as the first deterrents. Even our military used cannonfire against the first pirates when they captured one of our civilian vessels back in the 1800's. Those pirates then were Muslim during 1700Barbary War, and gee, the pirates are still in Muslim lands.

What else than guns? Try RPGs.

That's what pirates, no, Peoples of Islam understand. Power.
________

In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to negotiate with Tripoli's envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman or (Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja). Upon inquiring "concerning the ground of the pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury", the ambassador replied:

        It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy's ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once.

Wikipedia snippet from First Barbary War [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why the hell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690577)

Why the hell NOT guns?

Because there are advantages to having people like you - someday Somalia is going to end up with a real government and whether that government turns out to be an ally or an enemy of the USA is going to depend to a large extent on popular opinion.

Now, you probably can't possibly imagine how anyone in Somalia would think that it was wrong for a US ship to kill Somali pirate - but there's some things you also probably don't know about the situation.

First, the piracy got started as a response to commercial fishing vessels that were encroaching on Somali fishing grounds - and putting the local Somali fishermen out of business. Second, the big commercial shipping companies had made a deliberate decision to allow the piracy because it was cheaper to allow the losses to be covered by insurance than to have to send a bunch of lawyers to a commission investigating the killing of people from Somalia (pirates) by employees of the shipping company (the ship's crew).

If all of a sudden ships from the USA start gunning down people from Somalia there's going to be a lot of people in Somalia who think that it's the USA's fault (first "the USA" steals Somlia's fish and then "the USA" lures honest Somalians into piracy and then "the USA" starts gunning down Somalians - who happen to be husbands and fathers and brothers and sons of the people of Somalia).

That's what pirates, no, Peoples of Islam understand. Power.

Any time you have superficial religious differences and a large power differential, there is going to be some sense of persecution. If the USA was Muslim and Somalia was Christian then you would have Christians in Somalia feeling persecuted.

Ironically, Muslims in Somalia do "understand" power - but not in the way you imagine. Muslims understand that the USA uses it's power to push them around - because the USA doesn't feel the need to treat people of other religions fairly.

As much as a display of "power" (simple-minded aggression) might be reassuring to people in the USA who laying awake at night afraid of "the Muslims", it would only make the underlying problem worse.

You mean... lube (2, Funny)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690085)

The pirate repellent foam is lube. They're going to spray attacking pirates with lube.

Re:You mean... lube (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690237)

Oh boy, if you ever happened to accidently drop a bottle on the floor you'd know just how much of a problem this is! Depending on quality you can't even reach a few inches before you...

Erh... I mean, we had that lube because we ... er... did it as a prank to ... our headmaster ... yeah, that was it...

Oh noes there is a pirate repellent gap ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690131)

man the planks, you survy knaves!

I love the smell of pork in the morning. it smells like... enormous MIC profits

I don't know that we need all this (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690133)

I think John Browning gave us all the anti-piracy solution we need back in 1921: The M2HB. Accurate to over a mile, fires 450 rounds a minute and is belt fed so you can easily have enough ammunition to sustain fire for long periods. Also one of the most reliable weapons out there, hence why it is still in current production for the US and other militaries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M2_Browning_machine_gun [wikipedia.org] . Knock a couple of those on each side of the ship and I'm thinking the pirates will go away.

Send in armed vessels that look like cargo ships (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690135)

When the pirates come out you blast'em.

Finally... (2, Funny)

cwiegmann24 (1476667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690143)

someone admits that DRM is not the solution to thwarting piracy...

Everything but the gun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690153)

So let me get this straight. What they're advocating is flooding/sinking a pirate's ship and/or knocking pirates overboard, providing a fairly explicit drowning hazard by making any pirate (or any friendly) who falls overboard unable to climb back onto either ship due to the slippery foam, making incapacitating electric fences on the edges of a ship at sea, and casually creating a potential for permanent hearing loss, but they're NOT considering firearms?

So it's okay to electocute, cause permanent disability to, and kill pirates (with potential for accidents causing the same to friendlies), but heaven forbid we shoot them? What?

Re:Everything but the gun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690281)

Guns are evil, we can't use guns. It's the open seas, I'm sorry, but IMHO the crews should be armed to the hilt. A highpowered rifle would keep the pirates away. IMHO the snipers screwed up by letting the 4th guy live. For $1 we could've saved the money it's costing to transport, jail, and feed this guy.

Re:Everything but the gun (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690339)

Returning to the standard historical punishment (walking the plank) is ok with me as well.

The Navy Seals delivered the proper message.

But the issue here may be due to arms regulations of various ports which would prevent the ship from docking if arms were aboard. This is largely mythical, but its a myth the shipping companies use to prevent law suits from their crewmen after being taken hostage.

Where's the electric fence? (1)

fsterman (519061) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690163)

No mention/pictures of the electric fence, is it on the ship, do they electrify the water around the ship, wtf?

Most of these sound like (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690165)

things that can only be used in relatively close range.

100 yards? That's plenty close enough to be under fire from the pirates. Hope you have brave, or foolhardy sailors.

Shark Repellent (1)

wbren (682133) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690173)

This immediately reminded me of Shark Repellent Bat Spray [youtube.com] .

Ninja bay (1)

floatingrunner (621481) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690181)

are you serious...but with guns? it's just software... can't they just ask programmers to write a better serial-key software?

I have a better idea (1)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690221)

SHOOT THEM.

Armed criminals who are seeking to ilegally board a ship should be SHOT. Killing them is the best deterrent of all: Those particular pirates will never pirate again.

To not arm the crews or put armed guards on these ships is utter insanity and proof that political correctness run amok is suicide.

Make OPEC Pay (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690225)

Whatever is used to protect that essential shipping, why the hell is the US paying for the US Navy to protect it? Why aren't Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, and all the other filthy rich oil shipping countries paying to protect their shipping? It's bad enough the US is paying through the nose for that oil from that cartel. It's worse that the US spends $TRILLIONS in wars throughout the Mideast, from East Africa through Central Asia, to protect or meddle in the business enriching those foreign oil countries. Why aren't they at least footing the bill for the security of their products sailing through their own backyards?

Re:Make OPEC Pay (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690567)

Because the majority of the ships passing through there are doing just that - passing through there. The destination or departure ports are most likely in Europe or even NA and Canada.

Not to mention that Yemen isn't filthy rich.

disagree (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690253)

I disagree with this bogus premise: " 'The best case scenario is that you find these vessels early enough that you can get a Navy ship detached to your location and let them handle the situation.'""

That's just lame. What they need is to go back to what merchant vessels on the high seas had forever as bog standard policy, except relatively recently with bullshit political correctness, and that is, they are armed with actual ARMS for self defense, not stupid squirt guns and big stereos.

Self defense is a human right, whether on land or sea, and playing make believe that weapons don't exist or they aren't the best tool for the job is just ludicrous. And this crap about some "legal jurisdiction" is again stupid, the old ways were the best, on the high seas, YOU have legal jurisdiction over your own safety, you are the law. someone attacks you, you have the right to use lethal self defense.

If these bozo shipping companies and their insurers can't trust their own crews with defending their own ships, cargoes and lives (the latter being a good inducement for the crews to be proactive in self defense), maybe they should pick better crews and offer a bit more training. We shouldn't be forced to use huge amounts of taxpayer money to provide expensive official navy vessels for commercial escort duty given the nature of these pirates being just fools in little boats with AKs and RPGs. The big merchant vessels can have a little stouter armament than that, and be able to protect themselves in 99%+ of the situations out there.

This weeniefication of society is just crap. When only the bad guys and the police/military have self defense arms, it is called a criminal police state, and these globalist goons seem bound and determined to turn it into a criminal police planet. Screw that.

I'll say it again, self defense is a human right. Any laws/regulations/policies to the contrary are totalitarian by nature.

Seattle Mariners - Defense? Who Knew!? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690257)

Oh, wait, different "Mariners". In that case it might work.

What? No gun?!? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690263)

A three inch gun, or two, would make wonderful pirate repellent.

Just the solution (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690301)

No guns of course, that would be politically incorrect and might harm these poor misunderstood souls that seek to board the ships and we don't dare hurt their feelings. Playing catch and release with pirates is the politically correct thing to do nowadays. Instead we'll get the UN involved to send them a sternly worded letter saying No! Works every time, just ask the survivors in Darfur etc....

Slippery foam deters pirates? (1)

immakiku (777365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690319)

Hmpff! Never would it deter a properly trained ninja...

Anti-pirate device (1)

rodney dill (631059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690357)

Soap

Long Range Accoustic Device (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690385)

It's a high-powered directional loudspeaker that allows a ship to hail an approaching vessel more than a mile away. And it comes with recordings of useful phrases, like "You must leave the area immediately," in Somali and dozens of other languages.

One of the most often requested phrase was "All your bases are belong to us". Followed by, "The Red zone is for loading and unloading only. The Green zone is for dropping off and picking up passengers".

KY Jelly? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690393)

So essentially NPR is suggesting that captains coat their ships in KY jelly to prevent piracy?

Re:KY Jelly? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690489)

Bad call. You don't want to tempt the monster squid like that.

Re:KY Jelly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690517)

NPR isn't suggesting anything. They're reporting that the captains are interested in things like slippery foam.

Puke Saber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690411)

I guess they can't make the "puke saber" soon enough *bleh* :0===#
http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/06/2019258
-rich

Peter Pan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690439)

I have a feeling they're just stealing Pirate-stopping ideas from Hook. Soon they'll start recruiting Lost Boys, building Egg launchers and guns that shoot nickolodeon-style slime. I fear for Dustin Hoffman's life.

Laser guided torpedo (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690497)

I think some laser guided torpedoes would work fairly nicely.
Ship has laser guidance system that "paints" the pirate ships for a simple water torpedo to track down and destroy.

Detect pirate craft(s)
Paint target(s)
Deploy torpedo(s)

Kaboom(s)!

call me stupid but... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690527)

>> NPR reports that owners of ships that ply the dangerous waters near Somalia are looking at options ... -- almost anything except guns.

Why NOT use guns? The pirates ONLY have access to firearms, so its not like one side avoiding specifically firearms but escalating other weapons is going to avoid firearms escalation by the pirates.

Just face it and put some serious armaments on the ship. IMHO the ships actually being able to defend themselves properly is the best deterrent. I mean some pirate isn't going to be mortally afraid of getting wet or having loud noises played at them, but a deck-mounted chain gun pointing straight at them is a different story.

The first time Somali pirates have ever showed signs of being destabilised wasnt when they had hoses squirted at them. It was after those Special Forces snipers took those 3 pirate hijackers out simulataneously.

Puke Saber (1)

richrumble (988398) | more than 5 years ago | (#27690529)

I guess they can't make the "puke saber" [slashdot.org] soon enough 8~0===# *splat*

tables turned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27690539)

This works great, until a group of pirates captures the ship that has these secret anti-pirate weapons on it. Then they become anti-anti-pirate weapons and the good guys start getting flooded, falling off their boats, lasered, sonic beamed and kissing their own ass goodbye.

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