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Feb-16-2010 22:23printcomments

U.S. Navy Ship Draws Fire From Somalian Pirates

A U.S. Navy ship reportedly passed captive ships near a Somali pirate den, and started a gunbattle that now cripples relations.

The Motor Vessel St. JAMES PARK
The Motor Vessel St. JAMES PARK

(NAIROBI, Kenya) - Local observers reported from the Indian Ocean pirate lair of Garacad at the North-Eastern Somali coast, that between Monday and Tuesday, a naval vessel entered between the holding positions of the sea-jacked ships MV St. JAMES PARK and a neighbouring vessel also held hostage.

The incident caused the pirates to open fire from both vessels against the navy ship, which was presumed to be a U.S. ship.

Observers speak of nearly 70 larger caliber shots fired from both hostage ships, according to Ecoterra.

Reportedly no fire was returned from the naval vessel, which then backed off.

Ecoterra says because of this incident, the MV St. JAMES PARK was commandeered in the following hours, away from Garacad, and is now held off Kulub, a location with very difficult access.


According to, the chemical tanker St. James Park, sailing under the British flag, was hijacked by Somali pirates.

The ship was carrying hazardous cargo from a port in Spain to Thailand. On board there is a 26-member crew, including nationals of Bulgaria, Russia and Turkey.

"The Pirates have captured the ship in the Gulf of Aden and sailed to Somalia. In the capture of the ship no one was injured and no weapon was used. Seamen succeeded in connecting with their families immediately after the ship docked in the base of pirates. The pirates' group abducted the vessel in the Gulf of Aden, and although there was a French Fregata nearby, the pirates managed to escape."

It is reported that the ship was loaded with provisions and water in Spain, and was prepared to be at sea 20 more days without recharging. Experts say this is optimistic for sailors and their medical conditions...

Source: and

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Natalie February 17, 2010 8:18 pm (Pacific time)

Actually, I apologize for my previous post. As it appears, the woman was married to the Third Captain Assistant(whatever that is) and he was onboard. Still, that doesn't make pirates heroes. They took the crew's tools, food, clothes and water away, trashed the ship and turned it into a restroom. Water was delivered in canisters used for gas, and the only food they had, was rotten rice. The crew lost half of their weight, and no medicine was available for that sick woman. As for the alleged beating I don't buy it. The woman's mom said that her daughter and son-in-law are both anxious to get home and have some real food. So, that excludes him as the abuser. If there was somebody else, I doubt very much that he would survive her husband's fists.

Anonymous February 17, 2010 6:35 pm (Pacific time)

Randal Hoppe is a loser, and has been told to vacate the building, bye bye Randal.

Natalie February 17, 2010 5:47 pm (Pacific time)

Oh, come on, the only reason the captain was outraged is because it was HIS child. Yes that's right, I said it. She was 5 months pregnant, and 6 in captivity. He was not a hero, rather a man that really didn't care as for what happens to her after he used her. Yes, used and abused as much as her co-sailers. He should've kept her in his room or at least protect her. The woman's betrayal is as much punished according to Islamic Law if not more. I hear they still can stone to death for that.

Tim King February 17, 2010 5:01 pm (Pacific time)

Jimmy, that is what people think of us in Iraq, you know? These guys were screwed blued and tattooed and finally took a stand against foreign nations pillaging their coastline, dumping toxic waste off Somalia that contaminated the same fisheries. The other day a captive Ukrainian engineer beat a fellow captive Ukrainian sailor, a female, who stopped it? That's right, the Somali pirates. Under Islamic law, regardless of what the extremists say or do in the 'stan countries, a woman can not be abused, and it was almost a death sentence for the Ukrainian engineer. After the pirates saved the woman who he apparently planned to beat to death, they took his ass to shore to behead him, and only at the last minute decided not to. So, I am just saying that there is a reason things end up the way they do, and it is easy to cast blame and simply brand them 'criminals' yet that is what Hitler did, and that is what the Israeli's do today against the Palestinians, and I think the Somali pirate story contains more than meets the eye.

Ersun Warncke February 17, 2010 4:32 pm (Pacific time)

I wouldn't congratulate anyone on a life of crime, but it is just business, and the "Somali Pirates" are not the only people in this business. The U.S. government destroyed Somalia's government, severely destabilizing their society, simply because the U.S. government is afraid of any independent Islamic state. Whether right or wrong, such a destabilization always has consequences. No one should be shocked or indignant about having to deal with the natural consequences of their own actions. Perhaps eventually people might learn that the military method of solving problems usually creates 10 more for every one solved.

Natalie February 17, 2010 4:20 pm (Pacific time)

LOL And I'm the Sleeping Beauty... So, who's Napoleon here? On another thought, was the crew exclusively feminine that no weapon was used and no one was injured? I'm willing to change my role to Joan of Arc in that case.

Jeff Kaye~ February 17, 2010 12:56 pm (Pacific time)

How do they know "no weapon was used in the capture of the ship, and no one was injured"? Then what's with the "almost seventy rounds fired from big guns at the US Naval vessel? Were they already onboard? It sounds like an inside job... but it also seems like they can afford the losses if they keep sailing those known pirate lanes. That boat captain might be removed from his post for endangering the lives of the "captive" crews, but I'm no Naval expert.

Randal Hoppe February 17, 2010 11:11 am (Pacific time)

gp that is quite a conclusion you have come to.

jimmy February 17, 2010 10:20 am (Pacific time)

GP, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!?! They are PIRATES, a.k.a. CRIMINALS… Non Violent you say? Holding someone hostage is rarely done by being polite. Reprimanded with a high power sniper rifle is fine with me. Where are the Navy sharpshooters to take out these CRIMINALS like they did to the last bunch. Please don’t give me the sad story about how their fishing grounds were decimated and this is all they have to do to survive. Does anybody remember the massive fish canneries up and down the coast of Oregon? Look at all the pilings along some of the rivers like the Siletz and ask yourself why didn’t the locals take to piracy when their way of life disappeared? Same thing with all the former timber jobs, no pirates from them either. Bomb them back to the stone age and be done with it.

gp February 17, 2010 6:12 am (Pacific time)

It seems to me that the Somali Pirates continue to be as non-violent as possible and that they are really Robin Hoods. I can't help but be rooting for the dispossessed who have figured out a way to steal from the theives of the super rich nations.

Mike H. February 17, 2010 4:24 am (Pacific time)

Biggest mistake of their lives. Of course, most likely nothing will be done. Wouldn't want to be reprimanded by anybody now would we?

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