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Somali pirates back at it: Another oil super-tanker seized

Pirates seized the U.S.-bound oil super-tanker Maran Centaurus today while it sailed far off the lawless Somali coast.

The 300,000-metric-ton Greek-owned ship can carry up to 2 million barrels of oil. Maritime officials speculated that it was probably the farthest offshore that pirates had taken a ship.

In this case, nine pirates boarded and seized the Centaurus and held its 28-man crew in the Somali basin, some 600 miles from the Seychelles, the European Union said today. The crew -- from Greece, the Philippines, Ukraine and Romania -- is reported to be "well," according to this report from the Times of London.

The last time Somali pirates grabbed an oil tanker was in November 2008, when they took the Saudi tanker Sirius Star, which was released for a ransom of $3 million.

Meanwhile in the U.S., oil is down below $76 per barrel today, as traders fear that the global recovery is not as strong as hoped, meaning less oil will be purchased.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  November 30, 2009; 11:46 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Somali pirates, oil  
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Anyone dumb enough to be hijacked by pirates should be shot and tossed over board. Look at the size of a tanker, look at the openness of the Ocean. You can see them coming for miles. We're talking about maybe 10 people??? that have to get to the ship then climb up the ship. How about taking a little of the oil and poring in over board onto the pirates then taking a f$%king flare gun and having a barbecue.

Posted by: askgees | November 30, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Crude oil does not burn very well and flare guns are no match for fully automatic AK-47's.
However, it does seem quite backward that carriers of this sort of cargo as well as anything of great value do not use security teams.

Posted by: anti-elitist | November 30, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Have they figured out yet how to have guards with weapons on board to protect and defend these boats? Oh, sorry, I guess not. That seems way too difficult of a concept.

Posted by: | November 30, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I really don't understand this hijacking thing. These ships are in the middle of the ocean and these small boats come along side and board the big ships, HOW ??? Where are the worlds NAVIES???? Why can't the navy, find these big mother ships and SINK them. Then go after these smaller boats and sink them...CASE CLOSED. This is not to hard to figure out. if you start to KILL these scumbags...they will stop.

Posted by: vr58po1 | November 30, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

First, we don't know if the ship was taken under the cloak of darkness which could/would have reduced the amount of situational awareness the crew had. Second, these pirates are well armed with grenade launchers and automatic weapons.

What I don't understand is why the various nations haven't destroyed Somalia. All of us should bomb Somalian seaports and coastlines to rid the world of these pirates. The so called "innocent people" who are killed in the bombing benefited from the pirates and supported them so I don't care if they die. Just casualties of the war they started. Somalia is one of the arm pits of the world. Let's go bomb the place to hell and stop this 21st century madness.

Posted by: neil64 | November 30, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The world super powers could easily eliminate the Somali pirates with a concentration of forces and arms. The puzzle here is what's taking so long?

Posted by: Diogenes | November 30, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

See: Black Hawk Down

Posted by: ddowhan | November 30, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

We don't need to put troops on the ground. We can bomb from ships and aircraft using high altitude ordinance. This minimizes and American casualties. If we don't do something are we going to continue patrolling the ocean, escorting ships and eventually paying ransoms like Spain has done twice?

Bomb the Somali coast. Kill whatever pirates we can.

Posted by: neil64 | December 4, 2009 2:49 AM | Report abuse

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