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April 9th, 2009
08:56 PM ET

A Pirate's Predicament!!

Attackers hijacked the Maersk Alabama, shown here, formerly known as the Alva Maersk.

Attackers hijacked the Maersk Alabama, shown here, formerly known as the Alva Maersk.

Program note: Watch Randi Kaye’s full report tonight at 10p EST on Anderson Cooper 360.

Randi Kaye
AC360° Correspondent

So imagine how those pirates feel right about now…

They’re rocking about in the middle of the Indian Ocean trying to figure out how to hold onto their bounty - Captain Richard Phillips - and their lives.

Their own boat is sunk. They're stuck in a 28-foot enclosed lifeboat with a disabled engine. They have limited food and no fuel. And looming nearby is the massive USS Bainbridge, a Navy destroyer that at any moment, could pounce. Two more Navy ships are on the way, a frigate with guided missiles and an amphibious ship. And FBI negotiators are there.

Sure, these four pirates - these four men holding Captain Phillips - are armed with AK-47’s, but do they have anywhere to go?

All the Captain has is a radio, which was running out of juice, so the Navy dropped in some more batteries and limited supplies.

Oh by the way, did I mention the unmanned flying drones that are hovering above the lifeboat and sending pictures back to the Navy destroyer so they can see every move that is made!

If you were those pirates, what would you do at this point?

Two more Navy ships are on the way and will arrive within the next 24 hours. The re have been unconfirmed reports that more pirates are headed to the scene to help take on the U.S. Navy but you have to wonder how that would go down.

The captain’s family, understandably, is anxious about his safety but we’re told he has not been harmed.

What do you think the U.S. needs to do to get out of this mess?


Filed under: Pirates • Randi Kaye
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Bev - NYC

    It's useless to negoatiate with people who have nothing to lose. Two Navy Seals under the cover of night should end this standoff. If the Captain makes another attempt to free himself that boat should immediately be sunk and the pirates killed. A line needs to be drawn on this get rich quick scheme, as long as countries are willing to pay ransom there is no reason for these thugs to stop.

    April 10, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  2. Big Daddy

    It's painfully simple to me. Send in some poisoned fried chicken and watermelon. Those pirates aren't about to share some gold like that with whitey. Once they are dead, he climbs out to safety.

    April 10, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  3. Mark Johnson

    Other options for the US.

    Send in some SEALs late tonight to put some slow leaks in the bottom of the life boat. Once it starts to go under, they all start jumping out. Start picking off the bad guys with snipers. Or do it fast with primacord and open the lifeboat up like a sardine can.

    Drug their food/water like AR says above, or gas them late tonight to knock them out.

    Tell them we are going to make them safer and pick the whole damn boat up with a Sea King/cargo net and drop it on the deck of the Destroyer.

    Definitely annihalate anybody that comes to help the pirates.

    April 10, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  4. Mark Johnson

    To the pirates:
    You have already committed the crime so letting you go free is not an option. Here are your choices:

    Option 1: You release the captain and are apprehended. You will be judged in a court of law with possible prison sentencing.
    Option 2: You harm the captain and are apprehended. You will be executed.

    To the US negotiator:
    Simple, agree to let them go free if the captain is allowed to swim to the US Destroyer. Once the captain is safe, inform the CO of Bainbridge that he can activate the CWIS weapons system and begin target practice.

    April 10, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  5. ronvan

    Another question: When you see this lifeboat you understand why snipers, etc., could not kill the pirates. However, and sadly, for me, it seems everyone was asleep at the wheel when the Capt. jumped into the ocean to escape. That was the moment to sink the lifeboat, and then marksmen could have picked off the other scum in the water.

    April 10, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  6. ronvan

    It continues to amaze me that in this day & age of technology that some 2 bit thugs can raise so much cain! BUT, how do we, and I mean everyone, not just the U.S. solve this problem? My first question is why the shipping companies have not armed their boats?
    A couple of BOFORS 40mm guns, vulcans, combinations, and manned by their own people, even mercenaries, would stop them!
    I heard on the news the other day that there are 16 ships & about 300 people that are still being held by these thugs. What a joke!

    April 10, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  7. AR

    First prevent any other pirates from approaching. The pirates will run out of Food and should be re-sulpplied. Re-supllying is the opportunity "DRUG THE FOOD" when everyone it out, move in.

    April 10, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  8. db

    I hope I'm wrong but nothing will happen to the pirates. If they give up, what do we do with them? Send them to Gitmo? Not hardly. They'll feed them and chopper them to the main land and ask them to stop pirateing ways. There is too much media coverage... the Navy can't do what we all know needs to be done. The Pirates could open fire and the BainBridge will not return fire. Our military needs to turn on a "mean " spirit so we can regain respect on the high seas and on foriegn battlefields. These people do not fear the US anymore..Too much talk not enough real shock and awe.

    April 10, 2009 at 6:59 am |
  9. Rick, Indiana

    Im sea sick myself just reading about this silly stand off. You really want to end this? Call Jack Bauer to do the job. Game over....

    April 10, 2009 at 4:55 am |
  10. 2Redd

    why are they tring to deal with these people we need to send sharp shooters in and let them and anyone thinking about hijacking ships know the united states will play hard ball

    April 9, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  11. Jim

    If I were the Pirates I'd surrender the Hostage & give up – They should realize that if they harm the Captan, they can kiss their butts goodbye.

    April 9, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  12. David Mogilefsky

    I would suggest blowing an 8 inch wide hole in the lifeboat with a miniature torpedo.

    April 9, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  13. Jeff LeRoy Davis, Kelly, WY

    The Navy isn't in a mess. All the Navy has to do is wait. The only thing keeping the pirates alive now is their hostage. Pirate reinforcement boats should be summarily blown out of the water if they don't turn about and leave. We are the United States Navy, not the State Department. We negotiate under threat of complete anhilation!

    April 9, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  14. Dan Nelson

    Well the pirates did not give back the captain back as was the deal with the exchange of the captured pirate and if a ransom is paid I do not think that they would give him up again. They want to be sure that they have safe passage back to Somalia so I think they will not give him back until they reach the shores. We could allow this to happen and use are drones to keep track of them and after the release of the captain the drones could fire on them or a guided missile would do the trick from one of our ships! One thing is sure we must kill these pirates so that the rest will know that they will die if they continue to attack merchant ships! Why haven't we yet followed these pirates bake to their mother ships or home ports and blow them up? Surely we are not afraid of law suits or any other action they might take?

    April 9, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  15. keith

    4 snipers and take the pirates out, then go get the captain.

    April 9, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  16. Michael Raymond

    It has been the policy of this government not to negotiate with terrorists, kidnappers, whatever. Bring in the necessary assets needed to kill , if necessary, the bad guys. Sorry, Captain Phillips.
    Ramp up on-board crews to deal with Pirates before they become a problem. How hard could that be ??

    April 9, 2009 at 9:30 pm |
  17. Annie Kate

    I think its the pirates that are in a mess – if I were them I would swim for it and hope that the Navy, etc. are more concerned with getting the Captain on board than chasing after me. But what should the US do – send a Navy seal over to the raft (assuming its an inflatable kind) and punch enough holes in it that it sinks. That should force the issue on the pirates when they are literally up to their necks in water and taking on more.

    April 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm |