Pirates Repelled by Armed Defense


Buried in an LA Times Entertainment section article about two dead former Navy Seals is some interesting news about the Maersk Alabama, the ship that was attacked by Somali pirates (not pictured above) in 2009 and featured in the movie “Captain Phillips.” In the last paragraph of the article, it’s casually mentioned that the same ship was attacked three more times in the next two years . . .

From the LA Times:

But while Phillips’ story — and by extension, “Captain Phillips” — had a happy ending, the Maersk Alabama has not been so fortunate, facing further pirate assaults in recent years. The ship was attacked a second time in 2009, again in 2010 and yet again in 2011. Each time, though, the assailants were repelled by armed security forces.

So the ship went from being defenseless in early 2009 to having armed guards ready and able to repel sea-faring marauders. In the first instance, the ship is taken over and the captain taken hostage, requiring the U.S. military to intervene. That, of course, famously concluded with the the pirates being dispatched and the rescue of Captain Phillips.

In the next three situations, the armed guards repelled the pirates before they could board the ship. A better result for everyone concerned (except, of course, the pirates). Funny that we end up reading news like this about successful armed self defense in the Entertainment section of a paper discussing the movie made about the original incident.

(H/T David Codrea)

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch


  1. avatar Jacob W says:

    “If we let the peasants know that armed defense actually works, who knows what could happen!” -Generic Shady Hollywood types.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    Now that’s a gun I could have fun with. 54r is still cheap and plentiful. grumble, ca, sigh, nfa.

    1. avatar Taylor Tx says:

      couldnt agree more, I want a belt fed toy but without a career in the firearms industry 😡

    2. avatar Chris from Iowa says:

      I was hoping to see his other hand holding a “Stand strong Connecticuit” sign.

  3. avatar wvumounties8 says:

    only in Hollyweird.

  4. avatar APBTFan says:

    Why don’t they just hang “Pirate Free Zone” signs all around the ship?

    1. avatar Cliff H says:


    2. avatar benny says:


    3. avatar Model 31 says:

      That would be discriminatory. The ship and/or waters would need “No Hijacking” signs. Come on, some of these pirates could be children or at least used to be. We can’t ban children.

      1. avatar JACA says:

        Not to mention that they’re all likely trying to turn their lives around and are actually really good people interested and music and science.

    4. avatar The Last Marine out says:

      They could not read the gun free zone sign. Ha Ha.

    1. avatar pyratemime says:

      That is hysterical and disturbing. I liked it so much I had to call my brother.

    2. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      “I haven’t had this much fun since flying choppers in NAM .”

      And I might add that the ammo is shockingly cheap – 100 rounds of M855 for $15.99!?! XM80 for $14.95 per hundred!?! I need to find their supplier!

    3. avatar Paladin says:

      That was hilarious!

    4. avatar Karlan says:

      Is it wrong I might consider this fun?

    5. avatar Venator Magnus says:

      “100 rounds of 5.56 armor piercing ammo at $15.95.”

      I haven’t laughed that hard since Desert Storm.

    6. avatar UnapologeticallyAmerican says:

      Is this real or just a gag?

  5. avatar Excedrine says:

    I’ll take a PKM for $30,000, Alex.

  6. avatar mountocean says:

    I’d like to hear the LA Times explain how this isn’t a happy ending. How is one hijacking more fortunate than repelling three attempts?

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Because the three successful defenses couldn’t make a good movie.

      1. avatar Evan in Dallas says:

        I would rather watch a movie about that to be honest.

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          Me too, especially if they did truly weird stuff like reloading after shooting 30 rounds out of an AR or 6 rounds out of a revolver.

  7. avatar ST says:

    Funny anecdote: walking down Sunset Blvd today, a bystander gave me the thumbs up for my Endo Apparel T shirt. Could the facade be cracking on The Disarmament Culture?

  8. avatar JoshtheViking says:

    Watched the movie on Friday night with some friends. Drove me crazy that they would enter pirate infested waters unarmed (excuse me, armed with water hoses that can “sink those skiffs”).

    1. avatar Evan in Dallas says:

      I laughed a little bit when I saw the part about the hoses in the previews.

    2. avatar WayneMHK says:

      When I first watched it, I couldn’t believe they didn’t have enough firearms to repel a small boat. Insane.

    3. avatar Krystal says:

      The honstey of your posting is there for all to see

    4. Thanks Sally and Time4U! I don’t often have trailers made for series books because they’re on the shelves such a short time, but with the new Showcase program, it seemed like a the ideal time to do another one. Of course, I loved this one so much, I’ve got COS working on one for my Traditional Greek Husbands due out in July and August. LOL

    5. Mark,Glad you like the blogs 1. I typically buy from iStock, Fotolia, Shutterstock, Deamstime (cheaper). You may check them out.2. You may use php redirect (Just Google up the steps) or free tool like bitly. May be there are other methods too. But they work just fine for me.Verena

    6. avatar http://www./ says:

      Heej,Ik was eerder al van 108.3 naar de 101 gegaan met opletten met eten! Maar kwam daar niet verder mee! Nu nog ff doorbijten! Het is wel moeilijk hoor! Ik wil dus eigenlijk naar de 75..

    7. avatar http://www./ says:

      Jeg synes simpelthen det er så fedt at du tager dig tiden til at læse alle vores blogs igennem og at du så også lægger en kommentar er bare endnu bedre. Tusind tak for det

    8. avatar http://www./ says:

      Wham bam thank you, ma’am, my questions are answered!

    9. avatar http://www./ says:

      The fact that a law is in place doesn’t mean anything unless they enforce it. I don’t put DRM on my books, so people are free to do as they please when they buy them. If these laws were effective, then we wouldn’t have robust and busy pirate sites.I guess for those authors who spend time finding out if someone has violated their copyright it’s nice to have a law to fall back on.

  9. avatar pyratemime says:

    I believe good progress on the piracy issue could be made through a combination of Q-Ships and Private Maritime Contractors operating under Letters of Marque.

    1. avatar ihatetrees says:

      +1 for the Letters of Marque reference. The troublesome details of their use would be more than offset by the priceless panty-soling reaction from most of the leftist, whiny, over-emotional media morons.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      “Letters of Marque and Reprisal” have gone so sadly out of fashion. Francis Drake was my elementary school hero, and still seems an admirable exemplar of an old-school Englishman.

      It is the Reprisal we need a bit more of. I assume SEALs are suitable for the purpose? Don’t they blow up ships?

      As for the LA Times, what can be expected of them? Were a stalker to threaten a beauty and simply get shot, a brief story, who could sell it? But let that stalker nearly succeed three times. Let him fool the beauty through the use of a disguise, only to have his plan interrupted by the appearance of the beauty’s dangerous lover. Allow the beauty to slowly grow from a frail and fearful object into an angry vengeance-seeking vixen with a pistol and a trap…and you have a movie. Hollywood. But the great French directors also insisted on a longer ride.

      1. avatar pyratemime says:

        To paraphrase our Secretary of State maybe we neec a 17th Century solution in the 21st Century. After all I hear going retro is all the rage on the Black Sea so why not get in on that new fad while it is still fashionable.

  10. avatar mrvco says:

    What about the two former Navy Seals that were found dead on board the Maersk Alabama recently?

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      …what about it? Do you have anything to say or are you JAQing (just asking questions!) off?

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        Well, push the amateurs aside! JAQing off sounds, then, like a job for a sworn detective. Eventually they always come to a conclusion of some sort.

      2. avatar mrvco says:

        Just another unfortunate event in this ship’s history… and a rather bizarre one that is (apparently) still under investigation.

    2. avatar Grumpy in Kali says:


      1. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

        You’re one mean dude.

  11. avatar Cubby123 says:

    Stupid Idiots who think singing Kumbyah to pirates will stop them.They have millions to gain and how much did it cost US Taxpayers to rescue Capt. Phillips ? When a few shots from a 50 caliber armor piercing ,incendiary across their bows would give them rethink,and save lives and millions and millions of US TAXPAYERS DOLLARS. But MDA and MAIG and BRADY and all the rest of the goodie two shoes antis will cry foul for the poor Pirates!

    1. avatar seans says:

      You realize that it isn’t our country that prevents us from arming ships, it is the foreign ports that make it extremely hard to arm ships. Bringing guns into some countries can get you executed or imprisoned for life.

      1. avatar Jeff says:

        Not only that, but International Maritime Organization rules generally prohibit any defensive arms on board. Guess who runs the IMO? The UN.

  12. avatar jwm says:

    The maersk alabama appears to be a shit magnet.

    1. avatar Grumpy in Kali says:

      Well it is named after the state of Alabama which is rather fitting.

  13. avatar Hannibal says:

    “…the armed guards repelled the pirates before they could board the ship. A better result for everyone concerned (except, of course, the pirates).”

    I dunno, I imagine it was a better result for them too compared to what happened when they got sealed.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      Yes. And, what happened to the old understanding, that to teach an evil man a lesson amounted to doing him good?

  14. avatar Hinshelworld says:

    Armed security repelling pirates isn’t exactly news…

    It’s extremely commonplace and many ships transiting high risk water do so with armed security contractors onboard. British security companies seem to have the market cornered on this right now.

  15. avatar C says:

    This is something that bothered me while watching the film. I assume that the ship in the movie is pretty representative of cargo vessels. Granted, i am not a professional, but it seems to me a pretty well defensible position.
    The pirates don’t have much of an option for attaching ladders but to come abeam the ship. If they managed to actually get aboard they would find themselves on a walkway which runs the length of the freighter. One dude with a rifle and cover could sufficiently control the entire side of the boat against a small pirate crew.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      We need “Stand Your Water.” In Florida inland waters none of this fancy BS would be necessary. And what ever happened to respecting the flag a US vessel, on pain of reprisal? Ah, not many ships flying that flag today, eh? To hell with them then.

  16. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    I wonder if the defence was prosecuted by peasants sailors, or by armed guards?

    If the latter, they are professionals – and therefor it’s alright for them to be armed, unlike we little people.

    1. avatar Hinshelworld says:


      It is very, very rare for commercial vessels like that to have weapons accessible to the crew.

      It’s all contract security, who usually show up with their own weapons just for the transit through high risk waters. There are too many issues with the ships themselves bringing weapons into foreign ports, most countries are not super gun friendly.

      1. avatar PavePusher says:

        Simple solution: Naval artillery applied to the harbors so affected until the nation attached allows merchant ships to be armed for defense.

        They’ll fall into line quite quickly.

        1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

          And this would start how many wars?

  17. avatar Southern Cross says:

    Time for the Q-Ship to make its resurgence. Surplus Maxson mounts would be a good start.

  18. avatar Gordon Wagner says:

    It would be cheaper IMHO to provide a government for that area, to stem illegal toxic dumping which kills off the marine life that provide food and income… apparently “Pirates” ask for SHOES a lot of the time, just basic footwear, anything. The ocean is routinely used as a corporate toilet by ships because there IS no government to complain about the practice. I have no problem shooting “pirates” but this is like living in a neighborhood with an abandoned house, it’s a location that’s going to attract trouble and it’s cheaper in the long run to keep it cleaned up rather than let it fester.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      The last time an effort to apply order to the area ended in failure and all those who tried basically gave up and left. We all know how that worked out (hint: Black Hawk Down). You can’t help those who don’t want your help in the first place.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Many do, but unfortunately even a few who want power can turn a humanitarian mission into a war.

  19. avatar PavePusher says:

    “But while Phillips’ story — and by extension, “Captain Phillips” — had a happy ending, the Maersk Alabama has not been so fortunate, facing further pirate assaults in recent years. The ship was attacked a second time in 2009, again in 2010 and yet again in 2011. Each time, though, the assailants were repelled by armed security forces.”

    I fail to see how the three subsequent attacks being repulsed were not also “happy endings”. More-so, in fact, as they required far fewer resources and mess than the first attack….

  20. avatar Paul53 says:

    Dean, just clarify one point for me. Is the above picture a guard or a pirate?

    1. He is identified as a pirate.

  21. Pirate attacks have plummeted to nearly zero in the wake of (pun intended) ships taking on armed security guards.

    Simple solution: shoot them out of the water before they can climb aboard.

  22. avatar Ryan says:

    Arming merchant ships even in the name of security and self-protection is fraught with all kinds of standing international law violations.

    1. That may be, but it is happening now and it is why pirate attacks have dropped dramatically to the point where we hardly hear about them anymore.

  23. avatar DBM says:

    Its funny how reporters are either too stupid to know that wasnt to be reported or they have a compulsion to report it but in out of the way places. Back when newspapers were still everywhere the most interesting articles were printed in the OBIT’s for space fillers.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email