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Captain Phillips -


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Played by Tom Hanks in the true story of a ship's Captain, hijacked by Somali pirates. Things seem to have calmed down now, but, as at the time, I still don't understand why merchant ships weren't kitted out with HMGs, RPGs and small arms, to sink these pirates before they ever got to the ship ?

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Could be something to do with crew numbers on the merchant ships and the training of same to use such weapons.

 

Not that easy to hit a fast moving small boat that is attacking at night and has no lights showing. something akin to spotting a black cat in a coal bunker with your eyes closed whilst riding a rodeo bull.

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What Sid said plus the problems associated with turning up in foreign ports with armaments on board. BIG BIG problems with Port Authorities which usually entail BIG BIG fines, ship detention etc.

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As ever Asp; red tape overrules common sense. Providing weapons are secured in a ship's armory and declared; I can't see the difference in holding cash in the Ship's safe ? The attack shown in the film, was by four pirates in light skiffs; which an HMG or RPG could have taken out before they ever got near the ship. Not a lot of training involved, searchlights, flares, night vision equipment, and tracers would assist night firing. In the end, this job was done by US Seals, who came to the rescue (late).

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And who do you envision doing all the surveillance and weapon manning required Obs? Merchant ships run on minimal manning these days. They aren't like naval vessels with multiple redundancy you know. Some ships have employed professional armed guards, but this isn't seen to be commercially viable given all the bureaucracy involved. In the case of Captain Phillips' ship, I believe he took a chance by going into waters not covered by the international task force and paid the price.

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How much would it cost the Company if the ship is seized by pirates - simple insurance, at the end of the day; not to mention of course the safety of the crew.

The ship and cargo is already insured, so it's down to the insurance provider to decide on the level of protection required. In this case the Maersk Alabama was reportedly 300 miles closer to the coast than the recommended safe track which put her in the danger zone, not something a prudent Shipmaster would do, and quite possibly a breach of the insurance conditions.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35279074

 

They weren't actually on board a merchant ship as such, but on a vessel owned by a US company offering protection services to Merchant vessels.

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