Piracy question

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by BillP, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. BillP

    BillP New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    On a lake near Detroit Lakes, MN
    I know that one of the first tasks of our Navy and Marine Corps was to protect vessels from piracy and seam to remember them putting US Marines on board merchant vessels for that purpose.

    The merchant fleet owners say that they do not want to arm crews and that while armed security is perfectly legal on the high seas, they would run into a morass of laws when sailing in and out of territorial waters and harbors.

    My question is this: Do these laws of individual countries pertain to the sworn members of the military of the country under which a vessel is flagged? Or is this permitted under international law? Certainly we are talking about countries that recognize one another. I am sure you can see where I am going on this.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  2. artabr

    artabr New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,859
    Location:
    New Iberia, Louisiana

    I would think that laws are laws. I think that a uniformed military on a merchant ship would fall under the laws of the port of call.
    That being said, Why would warships be any different?

    I would bet a study of International Maritime Law on this subject would be interesting.

    Art
  3. olmossbak

    olmossbak New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    212
    Location:
    NE Tenn
    As I understand there are only very few ships in service that are flagged in the US. Most are registered in places like Liberia, etc where the regulations and fees are much more lax.

    I think the pirates screwed up this time. They ran into a professional crew that didn't seem to roll easily. Something like flight 109? Then the skipper trying to escape from the lifeboat? I sincerely hope that good fellow is well and am afraid that he isn't. Let's see what our new administration does with this.
  4. tgp42rhr

    tgp42rhr New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    First: Its the UN that made impossible for these ships to carry arms for the crew. Second: As long as those arms remain on the ship the laws of the rgestry apply. Third: Pirates of any origin understand one thing clearly the application of deadly force, negotiation is just weakness and means thay have won the battle.
  5. Mr. Nameless

    Mr. Nameless New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,264
    Location:
    Coast of N.C.
    My negotiator is a bullet, does that mean I lost?
  6. waynesigmeister

    waynesigmeister New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    California
    Having spent 10 years in the Coast Guard, my take on the law is this. The Mersk Alabama is a US flagged vessel and as such, it is a member of the Maritime Reserve Fleet. Such vessels and their crew can be activated into US military service upon orders by the President. Members of the US military can carry weapons on designated vessels on the high sea since US law pertains to vessels in international waters. Since the Alabama is not a US Navy vessel, there would be a problem in having the military personnel enter into the foreign port while armed since the Alabama then falls into the law of that country. Military have an exemption of being armed while entereing foreign ports but most of the time, whenever there are small arms on deck and visible, they are unloaded. I can't tell you of the number of times I boarded Russian or Chinese vessels entering the Los Angeles harbor and I was armed with an unloaded .45 auto in the military holster (these boardings were know as Special Interest Vessels) and there was a military concern when the communist flagged vessel came into our waters.
  7. BillP

    BillP New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    On a lake near Detroit Lakes, MN
    It sounds like a protocol issue that could be solved in the UN. The sort of thing the UN was intended for. A resolution that small arms could be kept on board a vessel so long as they were in the care and control of members of the military of the country in which the vessel is registered. Countries such as Panama that profit from being the registry country for many vessels would then train and arm marines for assignment aboard vessels. These marines could train crew members and even arm them to repel pirates on the high seas. When a vessel was entering a port, all arms would be secured by the marines as representatives of there government. I am thinking of contingents of marines as small as two men. If a vessel was being boarded by representatives of a local government (Coast Guard), The marine in charge would make himself available to the boarding officer as a representative of his government rather than a member of the crew. Any country that did not sign the resolution would not be bound by it but that would sort of make them undesirable by the international maritime community and what country wants that. The commander of the combined naval force that is trying to deal with the Somali pirates has said that commercial vessels will have to protect themselves as the sea is too big.
  8. AL MOUNT

    AL MOUNT New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    3,321
    Location:
    Cleaning my Thompson in The Foothills of the Ozark
    The UN caused it... :mad:

    I seriously doubt they can fix anything, including their own lunch... :rolleyes:
  9. hkruss

    hkruss Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,134
    Location:
    Mobile, Al.
    I blame the unregulated 'eye-patch' industry for the pirate problem. :D
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
General Military Arms & History Forum How do you feel about the JFK "Conspiracy...." May 6, 2007
General Military Arms & History Forum It Was A Left Wing Conspiracy! Mar 3, 2003
General Military Arms & History Forum Question about a bronze star recipient Mar 16, 2014
General Military Arms & History Forum squib question in military machine gun Feb 10, 2014
General Military Arms & History Forum Civil War muzzle loader question? Aug 5, 2013