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Old 02-19-2011, 01:50 AM   #1
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Seems like some people like to take a lot of risks. Not sure if Quest was in a convoy or traveling alone. Either way things do not look good for them & their crew at the moment. This is the BBC report. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12513120 . Short version. They have been captured by pirates.
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:59 AM   #2
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Here is Quest web site :- C L I C K -

They were on their way to Salalah (South West corner of Oman) when seized. There is time for the boat to be intercepted before it reaches Somalia.
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:29 AM   #3
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More ... http://www.latimes.c...story?track=rss - this reporter certainly does not improve their chances of getting out of this by reporting that they were distributing bibles. What a crazy thing to write!
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:53 PM   #4
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More ... http://www.latimes.c...story?track=rss - this reporter certainly does not improve their chances of getting out of this by reporting that they were distributing bibles. What a crazy thing to write!
Reporters only think about their story and not about any consequences to others. This unfortunately is characteristic of the "me" generation.

As long as the world continues to be soft on the pirates more victims will suffer.

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Old 02-19-2011, 04:56 PM   #5
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Reporters only think about their story and not about any consequences to others. This unfortunately is characteristic of the "me" generation.

As long as the world continues to be soft on the pirates more victims will suffer.
I agree with you about reporters and the self-centered actions of the baby boomers--the original "Me" generation. See an interesting article about the boomers and "me" here link. A bit extreme view of a conservative online pub, but sadly there's lots of truth in it. Across the board, we see people doing what is best for "me" without thinking about the impact on others.

I am very hopeful that something will happen to quickly extract this couple from the mess they are in with the pirates. I have no patience with piracy and do think the world at large is too soft--something drastic needs to happen. In the meanwhile, as cruisers, we need to think about our own actions in the context of our impact on all other mariners--from other cruisers to merchant ships. Just because we would like to go somewhere and do something that we want to do personally, doesn't mean we have the right to do so if it puts others in harms way to extract us from our unfortunate situation if something goes wrong. This is true for little girls sailing solo in the Southern Ocean and it is true for cruisers who choose to go places without sufficient security in place.

I have by-and-large been silent on these awful incidences of piracy. My heart goes out to the families of the cruisers who have been taken by pirates. It is a horrible thing. I have been silent because my position is that we cruisers really need to look long and hard at ourselves, our goals, why we're going where we are going (how much of it is "me generation" behavior as well?) and we need to figure out if we really NEED to put ourselves in this particular "harm's way" of piracy during these turbulent times. If a particular cruiser feels that acting as martyr will help rid the world of piracy earlier, well, I don't agree.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to these cruisers and their families and we hope that maritime forces in the area can/have extracted these cruisers from this piracy action already.

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Old 02-20-2011, 07:47 PM   #6
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We never met Quest, but several of our sailing buddies have and they have all contacted us. Piracy is starting to get close to home now. I'm afraid that the only solution is a fix of the core problem.

Somalia needs a government.

I hope Quest finds the help they need fast.

Also the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) confirmed that the Yemeni fishing vessel Alfardous was seized by Somali pirates on Sunday. “The vessel has a reported crew of 8, nationalities presently not known,” a spokesperson said. “There is no further information on the condition of the crew.” With the hijackings of the Alfardous and the Quest included, Somali pirates are currently holding at least 32 vessels and 698 hostages off the coast of Somalia, according to EUNAVFOR. Ecoterra, however, claims that pirates are holding at least 51 vessels and 819 hostages. According to a recent study, maritime piracy cost the global economy up to billion last year, with Somalia-based pirates responsible for 95 percent of the costs.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:45 PM   #7
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Somalia needs a government.
Indeed.
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:58 AM   #8
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Somalia does need a government but, the problem being, that left on its own there is unlikely to be a stable government for a very long time. On the other hand, the rest of the world seems reluctant to go in and try and create a stable government for them as:

1. many countries have problems enough in the Middle East with the so called war on terrorism

2. are facing austerity measures and do not want to be seen spending state money when cuts are being made elsewhere

3. are not willing to be involved in fighting for a country of little strategic or economic value

4 are not willing to offer their soldiers lives for what the electorate see as a wasted cause before it even starts.

As for the present situation, governments in the west are unwilling to do more than a token effort simply because given our penchant for political correctness they are unwilling to blow the pirates out of the water but, at the same time, they are also unwilling to arrest them and let them face trial as, when convicted, the expense of imprisoning the pirates will be enormous. When the pirates have served their prison time they will not be able to send them back to Somalia and so will become a burden on the state, along with their relatives who then have a claim for residence permits.

The only way out of this situation is for some country or countries to blow the pirates out of the water and turn their backs on political correctness in this case.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:24 AM   #9
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It is amazing how often history is ignored - Somalis have been practising piracy for at least the last eight hundred years. Raiding and pillaged the peoples across the border in Kenya. Cattle raiding in Eritrea. Gold and women in Ethiopia.

At Sea as far east as the Maldives where they based themselves during the 12th and 13th centuries - not a little different to those pirates of the Caribbean. Excepting of course the rituals of 'walking the plank' 'being keel-hauled' and that of being 'hung and drawn and quartered' are unfortunately still to be reinstituted for the capital crime of piracy.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:34 PM   #10
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I found this response from Judy on S/V Bebe very interesting concerning vessels in the staging area of the Red Sea now and what if any the latest developments would change their plans...

======

The week before Quest was captured we decided to ship our boat to the Med -- as did 9 other boats. We made this decision based on the extreme increase of pirate activity this season over previous years AND the turmoil in Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Algiers -- and now Iran sending warships up the Suez Canal to provoke Israel. The entire area seems to be sitting on a powder keg and the last thing we wanted to happen was to get caught in the Red Sea and have to turn around and come back through the pirate areas, especially during the stronger SW monsoon.

We have been tracking pirate activity since we were in New Zealand. Pirate attacks within the Northern Indian Ocean were increased 13 times this season over last season (Oct thru 10 Feb). Last year there were 6 in the IO and this year there were 78. In the Gulf of Aden there were 7 last year and 10 this year. And now the pirates are going as far north as Massawa, Eritrea. http://svbebe.blogspot.com/2011/02/state-of-limbo.html

We had hoped to be loaded in Cochin; but since 7 of the boats were already in the Maldives and only 3 here in Cochin, the transport company opted to load in Male. They will only stop in 1 port in this area for this unscheduled transport. The 3 of us here in Cochin must sail down to Male to be loaded onto the transport ship. BTW, clearing into the Maldives will cost $680 USD for 30 days, $20 more per person if you discharge crew or take on more crew.

Shipping will be on SevenStar Yacht Transport. Cost $650 per foot, including any overhangs like dinghy davits and bowsprits. That includes insurance and Suez Canal fees, cradling, loading, everything. Shipment from Male, Maldives to Marmaris, Turkey. Insurance is through Pantaenius and does cover wars and civil unrest, both of which are normally excluded from most insurance policies. Also, this shipment of 10 boats was arranged through the efforts of a shipping agent. The price is the same whether you deal with an agent or directly with the company. The company was treating each of us as a separate entity and we were all getting nowhere getting a ship diverted for this unscheduled stop. The agent grouped us all together and when SevenStar realized they were dealing with 10 boats in one location, they agreed to divert a ship to load us.

A number of other boats have turned around and will either spend another year (or more) in SE Asia area or will proceed via Capetown when the weather season is appropriate.

For those of you just starting across and those who are well behind us, start thinking of all your options now. These situations (both piracy and political turmoil in the Middle East and Africa) are not likely to be solved soon.

All that said, we have close friends on 5 boats out there now and are acquaintances with about 2 dozen more boats currently sailing through these dangerous areas. So not everyone has changed plans. In fact, one boat departed Cochin about 2 hours after learning about the capture of S/V Quest. Prefer not to name the guy, but he is determined to circumnavigate on his own boat bottom and not transport. It is a pride thing of being able to claim that he has circumnavigated, which would not technically be true if he ships the yacht up the Red Sea. I will be so relieved when all our friends and acquaintances are out of the Suez Canal!

Judy

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Old 02-21-2011, 11:40 PM   #11
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It was reported that the US Navy is tracking the Hijackers at sea. I'm still trying to get a source for the information.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:56 AM   #12
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"A number of other boats have turned around and will either spend another year (or more) in SE Asia area or will proceed via Capetown when the weather season is appropriate."

David and I are happy to read the above from SV Bebe.

We are also reminded of the following quote from Dom Degnon's book "Sails Full and By" --

"The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use."

That says it all.

We imagine that we will hear many interesting stories from cruisers who get off the beaten track through the Red Sea or from those who decide to spend more time in SE Asia or even change their plans further.

Considering the cost of shipping shared with us by the kind cruisers on SV Bebe, we cannot imagine that the average cruiser has that kind of money sitting around for the unexpected added cost of shipping. It represents, for most cruisers, depending on that cruiser's budget and boat size, the funds to continue cruising for at least half a year and up to several years for some cruisers. Unless forced to meet a certain schedule, cruisers would be hard pressed to part with so much of the kitty. We will look forward to hearing about the changes in plans and innovative things cruisers do to get around this area.

Good luck to all,
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
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It was reported that the US Navy is tracking the Hijackers at sea. I'm still trying to get a source for the information.
It has been confirmed that this is incorrect at this time. The website that originally reported this has removed the report and stated "incorrect information received".
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:10 PM   #14
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This is something i have cut and pasted from a man and wife team circumnavigating now in Thailand - obviously concerned about going on through the Indian Ocean,......he says it all !! BYW great blog to follow as I sit in my office dreaming........one day !!!

Phuket Saturday 19th February 1655 Local 0955 UTC 08:10.25N 098:20.38E This morning we were confronted with the sad news that an American yacht called "Quest" had been pirated 240 miles off the coast of Oman. There are currently two yachts being held captive and six yachtspeople. This of course pales into insignificance compared to the variously reported thirty + commercial ships and between 500 and 700 hostages being held by Somali pirates. This is intolerable. It is a disgrace that the inaction of the international community is allowing this to happen. This is nothing other than a state of war. One which we are not engaging in but observing. Worse still it is very easy to solve. Very easy, very straightforward. At the moment the worst fate a Somalian Pirate can expect to suffer is a long jail sentence in a westernised prison, which lets be honest with all the "human rights" accorded to prisoners in Europe nowadays is quite likely to be akin to a long stay at a holiday camp for a Somalian. For God's sake the Dutch Navy who were attacked by pirates, who then surrendered once they realised it was a navy ship they had attacked, fed the pirates and refuelled them so they could reach home safely. They did however take their weapons off them the inhumane brutes that they are. Now the poor pirates will have to spend some of their own ransom money buying new weapons. No doubt if the pirates took the Dutch navy to our European courts for their brutal treatment they would probably win a settlement! The European "task farce" (on this occassion that is not a typo) stands by and reports that the pirates are now using 8 captured ships as mother ships from which they daily spawn the qat fuelled bandits to go forth and rape the shipping channels from which they reap millions and millions of dollars. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! This is easy to solve. China, the oil producers in the area, America and Europe, lets bring in South Korea (because they have just demonstated how to deal with the issue) meet tomorrow afternoon. Not in the Swiss alps or Acapulco next month. Tomorrow afternoon. Video and or teleconferencing is fine. Even Skype would do. They lay a chart of the Indian Ocean out on the table (less than £20 at www.gaelforcemarine.co.uk ) They draw shipping channels, "safe highways" about 100 miles wide from the south of India to the Gulf of Aden, the Persian Gulf to connect into it and from the South of Africa to connect into it. 100 mile "exclusion zones" should then be declared either side of the "safe Highways". They declare a "No Go zone from say 50 miles off the shore of Somalia all the way to the shipping lanes. Where there is not 50 miles available for their inshore fishermen, then from the beach to the shipping lanes. Then an announcement is made through all means possible to the world in general and Somalia in particular that if any vessel large or small is found within one hundred miles of the safe highways or in the exclusion zones they will be an immediate authorised target for sinking by air attack. Honestly - 48 hours maximum and say £30 total, if Skype was used ( I concede a little more if video conferencing was used) could organise this including the cost of the chart, a ruler, a pencil and possibly a rubber. In fact if the inevitable debate about costs break out and cause a delay I will donate the neccessary. However it is probably not the money that is the barrier it is the WILL. No vessel large or small could commence to enter the "controlled gates" into the safe highways without being authorised and registered by the controlling force. Getting an entrance ticket so to speak. This of course could be an electonic broadcast and receivable signal say for example using the "Class A" AIS they are all fitted with. If not an electronic tag. If I'm not mistaken even cars in central London have to do something similar. So DO NOT tell me it can't be done. In addition two armed soldiers could be put on board each vessel until the system settles in. Commercial shipping could pay a fixed fee each, which would be a damn site less than the insurance premiums, probably wage premiums and certainly ransome payouts are currently amounting to. Oil prices would fall overnight. Immediately the "mother ships" whose positions it seems are known should be taken captive. Ah! but says EURNAVFOR we have to actually catch them in the act of Piracy before we can legally arrest them. Let me think about this for a while .......done. Crap, twaddle and politically correct BS! Arrest them tonight. If they have hostages tell them now that if one ship moves one inch and if any single hostage is harmed, one hair harmed, then every single Somalian pirate aboard will die. Not sometime in the future - before dawn. If they give up they can spend thirty years (which will ineviotably be reduced to fifteen - don't even start me....) in the holiday camps we provide for them in Europe. I am certain it will seem like a good deal to them. In fact if it came to it we could even lie to them and shoot them dead but I do realise that telling lies is bad so I would accept it if our nice European forces did not want to employ these inhumane tactics. Three letters come to mind. S.A.S. The exclusion zones either side of the safe highways, and the no go zone from the beach or 50 miles off the beach in Somalia are then patrolled by satellite, warship and military aircraft. Every single authorised ship in the safe highways could also report any ship outside the safe highway within the range of its radar in the exclusion zones. If any vessel at any time is found in the "exclusion" or "no go" zones then it is simply attacked from sea or air, and sunk. Let me just define "sunk" for you. It does not involve arrest and a long discussion about whether the guys are fishing before bringing them on a two year holiday to the Hague before a trial starts, when at worst they may get the holiday camp treatment. No, not that kind of sunk. I mean the kind of sunk which says you were warned and now your craft and most likely you will be destroyed. No further questions. "Oh! what about the rights of the poor Somalian fishermen" I can hear the smacking-a-child-is-akin-to-murder PC brigade sobbing. Easy. We are throwing away enough fish clinically known as "discards" to feed the whole of Somalia. So if we must do something, they can stay at home and we can send them the fish our fishing industry is forced by Europe to kill and then dump. DuH! Next, as the plan has effectively thrown a cordon round the seaward side of Somalia, we send say 2000 heavily armed forces onto the ground in Somalia and surround the relatively small area where everybody knows the pirates operate out of. Nothing. Nothing is allowed to move through the barricade without complete and thorough stop and search. Start immediately closing it down tighter and tighter without engagement. Let the pirates know that they and possibly their families will die if one single hostage is harmed. Ruthlessly prosecute them with the death penalty if there is one murder. Look, I am in a rage today about this situation. It is not funny. It is deadly serious. It is people's lives. Hundreds of lives. It is the functioning of the world's economy. It is the lack of will that is leaving us in this situation. My heart goes out to those taken hostage yesterday. To all those currently hostage. I am exasperated by the international community. I have said for some time to those that I have discussed this issue with that we will only see some action when Americans are taken hostage. I am no fan of American gung-ho, trigger happy (this happens in the movies) tactics round the world. Also we have seen time and again the iniquity of what they call "collateral" damage (killing of innocent people), the high number of "friendly fire" incidents (killing of the "good guys" supposed to be on their side) they are involved in. We have also seen the Americans and the British with others act completely without justification and perhaps healthy doses of cynical hypocracy in other instances. But in my view this situation needs immediate and decisive action. Europe has had its chance and sadly my guess is that now that Americans are taken we may see some of the long overdue hard hitting tactics required to sort this mess out. A mess we have allowed to happen by playing by our (stupid) rules while the other side don't play by any rules and run rings round us picking off targets and peoples lives with impunity. Enough is ENOUGH! Get it done Cameron, Obama et al. http://blog.mailasail.com/rhiann.marie/301
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