Monday, April 06, 2009

A simple act of contingency planning

So many times we rack our brains searching for solutions to complex problems and refuse to accept the idea that a simple remedy can be worth a pound of cure. A few days ago, Somalian pirates attempted to board an Israeli vessel and were defeated from boarding by the use of barb wire barrier. Ynet News:

Somali gunmen attacked an Israeli ship sailing 700 km off the coast of Somalia at around 10 am Saturday. The 'Africa Star' ship, belonging to Zim Shipping Services, had no Israelis on board. Lior Hayat of the Foreign Ministry told Ynet, "We are following the incident. Since there were no Israelis on board the ship, the Foreign Ministry will not involve itself in the handling of this case."

The pirate gunmen, riding on two motorboats accompanied by a mother-ship, opened fire at the Zim ship and then attempted to board by steering close to its hull and leaping from the boats. They were unsuccessful, however, as the ship's hull was encircled with barbed wire. No injuries were reported among the Zim crew.

After failing to board, the pirates returned to their boats and began a chase that went on for a number of hours. They were unsuccessful in reaching the vessel. Meanwhile, Zim's offices in Haifa were alerted, and in turn contacted NATO forces in the area as well as the Foreign Ministry and Israel's navy.
I am not offering this as the ‘solution’ to Somalian piracy and no doubt at some point Somalian pirates will attempt to board vessels with wire cutters but I like this story because it speaks to the idea an active self-defense is ultimately the better defense.

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