The unlucky African pirates abandoned the hijacked ship at a hurricane rate, a terrible helicopter with ready-to-fight Marines on board. Apparently, they really did not want to repeat the life path of one of the gangs of Somali pirates, whose monument was the expression of sincere bewilderment on the faces of the Russians in response to the question of where they had gone.
The Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean is less notorious than the waters on the other side of the African continent, near the Horn of Africa, or part of the ocean near Southeast Asia. Pirates have long built nests in these places and have become a serious threat to navigation. But if the threat from the Somali pirates was more or less eliminated by a combination of military measures and handouts, then a real chaos is going on in the Gulf of Guinea. In addition, it enjoys tacit, but effective “support” from the local authorities of neighboring countries. Nigeria in particular.
The almost constant presence of ships in this region should not surprise anyone. So the large anti-submarine ship “Vice-Admiral Kulakov” cruised there for nothing to do. More precisely, a Northern Fleet detachment consisting of the Vice-Admiral Kulakov BOD, the Akademik Pashin medium tanker and the Altai rescue tug cruised in the Gulf of Guinea for nothing to do.
And now the direct intervention of Russian sailors in the course of events freed a ship that was sailing under the flag of Panama from being captured by pirates.
The pirates reportedly caught up with the container ship in a fast boat. Their further actions did not differ in the search for novelty: the crew was locked in the engine room to be held hostage, and the ship was to be driven to the nearest port for unloading. But the sailors of the international crew managed to send a distress signal. A combat alert was played on the “Vice-Admiral Kulakov”. A couple of minutes later, a Ka-27PS helicopter with marines on board was raised, which flew towards the unfortunate container ship.
Everything turned out to be simple there. As soon as they saw a rotorcraft with a blue oblique cross on a white background, the pirates disappeared from the captured ship into their boat and steered ashore at the highest possible speed.
As emphasized in the news report on this matter, “the Russian marines did not open fire to kill.” Humanists turned out to be. They only landed a special group on a container ship, unblocked its crew and informed the sailors that they were now safe. At least until the next meeting with the pirates.
Why did they let you go?
This issue is vividly discussed in social networks today. It is the sailors who are especially angry because they know firsthand what modern piracy is. However, in reality, the situation is not so simple that to practice on pirates does not even use the PLAB-250-120 anti-submarine bomb, simple firing from Kalashnikov assault rifles. International laws in this regard are infinitely humane and promise considerable trouble to those who shoot a floating craft with which they are not firing. Then it will be difficult to prove that it was the pirates who drowned, and not the peaceful fishermen. It is these rules that have made maritime piracy such a serious problem for global shipping.
You can recall at least the story of the tanker “Moscow University”. It happened in the Gulf of Aden in 2010. At a distance of almost 1000 km from the nearest coast, “unknown persons” landed on the ship. Moreover, to try to fight off them with the help of fire barrels will not lead to anything, and the captain, armed with a pistol, did not dare to shoot to kill. As now, the ship’s crew barricaded themselves in the engine room, but the radio operator was able to contact the Marshal Shaposhnikov BOD. The sailors approached the board of the free-floating tanker in less than a day. The pirates turned out to be bad or did not know who the Russians were. They started firing back at our marines.
Russian marines. Photo: globallookpress.com
However, the skirmish was short. The pirates were captured and then released in an inflatable boat. They even provided water and Food. But by an accidental whim of fate, no one saw them again. Only our noteworthy liberals from one of the radio stations choked with tears after a while: according to their version, the pirates were shot by Russian marines. This slander was rejected with indignation by the humane Russian military, but since then attacks near Somalia on ships under the Russian tricolor have ceased.
Of course, using large anti-submarine ships to combat piracy is expensive, to put it mildly. It is much cheaper to revise those notorious laws that are well-disposed to pirates. Moreover, knowledgeable people say that if the Somali filibusters acted more or less humanely and the sailors tried not to kill in vain, then the Nigerian sea bandits are much more cruel. There were cases when they easily killed the crews, if the owners of the ship did not pay the ransom for them.
Our domestic shipping has not yet suffered too much from this scourge. This is simply because it is rather modestly represented in the world’s maritime traffic. But Russia is also returning to the oceans. And, therefore, purely statistically, we should expect pirate attacks on our ships in the future. Will international laws protect our seafarers? Practice shows that it is not. In any case, it was already necessary to ransom Russian people from pirate captivity more than once. The last incident was recorded in January 2019, when 6 Russian citizens were taken hostage.
On the other hand, an armed response is not an option either. Especially in conditions when a pirate boat can instantly turn into a fishing boat – just throw your weapon into the water. So you can get yourself accused of piracy.
There is only one way out: to hire professional armed guards in waters similar to the Gulf of Guinea. In the form of private military companies, like our “Wagner Group.” By the way, the advertisement of this PMC contains services for escorting ships. Knowledgeable people speak very seriously about the combat training of Nigerian pirates, who, albeit armed, but civilian sailors, cannot cope.
In the meantime, Russian military sailors are in combat work.