The Pirate Hunters
The Pirate Hunters by ALAN NAFZGER
The Pirate Hunters – Pecan Street Press
Lubbock ● Austin ● Fort Worth
The Pirate Hunters is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Amazon edition – The Pirate Hunters
Copyright © 2015 Alan Nafzger
All rights reserved.
The Pirate Hunters ISBN: 9781072161028
THE PIRATE HUNTERS
Written by Alan Nafzger
The Pirate Hunters FADE IN
EXT/INT. U.S. NAVY DESTROYER – GULF OF ADEN – DAY
A destroyer is simply cruising along.
The radio chirps an indistinguishable message, only the Radio Operator, accustomed to the static, the accents and poor reception, can decipher.
We are being boarded. Attempted boarding.
Captain. Pirates. French cargo ship. They are attempting to board her now. 12.8759° N, 46.2380° E
Respond, “we’re on the way.”
Come to 290º. Flank.
A sailor on the bridge pushes a button. Alarm bells thought the ship ring.
A sailor in the bridge pushes the throttle down to flank speed. The ship lurches forward. The ship makes a sharp turn and tips over.
The sailors must grab a hold of something to maintain their balance. Cups and plates slide on tables. The cook busy over a grill almost burns his face.
All the sailors spring into action station. Sailors fall out of their bunks. They dress rapidly and equip themselves.
The destroy is hauling ass through the water.
The Captain makes a gesture to warm up the helicopter. Pilots immediately man the chopper and the blades begin to slowly turn.
The radio operator is seen talking into the microphone.
This is the USS Farragut, a United States Destroyer. We are 10 mins out and coming to assist.
An officer looks at the radar and then steps out on the observation platform. The officer spots and points to a ship on the distant horizon.
Come to 280º.
SEAL TEAM THREE, 14 men and 2 junior officers, are geared up and ready for action.
The SEAL TEAM are introduced to the audience.
The SEAL junior officers are Edwardo Ruiz and Ray Jackson. They are standing with a clipboard and Ruiz and Jackson call roll and the SEALs answer.
Helo with me!
Swick. Don’t drag your ass or you will be left out!
The tarp is taken off a SWCC speedboat and it is attached to a hoist.
The SEALs move from their equipment room to a staging area just off the deck. The helicopter is warming up. The speed boat is ready.
The destroyer slows.
EXT. FRENCH CARGO SHIP – GULF OF ADEN – DAY
Two French security workers are crouched behind the ship’s rail. Pirates are on the other side, about ten feet below, about to board from their skiff. This is their last chance to stop them.
The pirates are all armed with AK47s and RPGs.
All the French have to fight them with are emergency flares and a lame ass water cannon. The pirates fire a RPG at the men and water hose and an explosion wrecks that part of the ship. Afterwards, the steaming hot water is still spraying wildly with the hose jumping about.
The French security workers are firing flares through a short scaffolding pole.
Did it work?
This thing is about as reliable as an Iraqi SCUD.
You’ve not hit one yet?
Where the RPG hit is beginning to smoke.
Gimmie a flare, gimmie a flare!
Last one mate.
French #2 has sweat dripped from his forehead on the flare. The Frenchie #2 puts the flare in the back of the tube.
If we can take out just one pirate then perhaps we could get hold of his gun and start doing some serious damage.
Then this is our last chance. Now or never.
Frenchie #2 takes hold of the pull-cord.
Frenchie #1 pops up from behind the railing. He aims the tube down at the pirate climbing up a ladder.
Frenchie #2 pulls the cord on the flair.
At the noise, the pirate turns, raising his AK and doesn’t even flinch as the white-hot flare zips by, missing his head by a foot. He waves his gun at them and shouts something in Somali.
The Frenchies duck back behind the rail.
The Frenchies run down to the hose and wrestle it under control. They point the hose at the pirates, who are on board now.
A teenage pirates, wearing a blue Ocean Pacific t-shirt and khaki shorts, lifts an RPG to his shoulder, aiming at the fire hose.
We see a flaming grenade flying straight for the Frenchies.
But just before impact …
French radio operator
They are on board. Repeat the pirates are on board.
EXT/INT. U.S. NAVY DESTROYER – GULF OF ADEN – DAY
The destroyer has arrived and has pulled alongside the French cargo ship only a minute too late.
The helicopter is airborn, with four or five seals on it. It is nearly at the ship. They are actually pulling up and about to repel to the deck.
A small boat with ten or more SEALS is also approaching. They are getting ready to board. The pirate skiff has pulls to the far side of the ship.
The American captain hears the radio message that the pirates are on board. He looks out through his binoculars and sees pirates running up the stairs to the bridge. We see’s prisoners being moved on the deck and pirates putting out the fire.
I’m sorry sir? Abort?
The first officer nods to the radio operator.
Abort. I say again. Abort.
Due to the crisis in Bolivarian Venezuela, issues of piracy returned to the Caribbean in the 2010s, with the increase of pirates being compared to piracy off the coast of Somalia due to the similar socioeconomic origins. In 2016, former fishermen became pirates, appearing in the state of Sucre, with attacks happening daily and multiple killings occurring. By 2018 as Venezuelans became more desperate, fears arose that Venezuelan pirates would spread throughout Caribbean waters.
Piracy on Falcon Lake involves crime at the border between the United States and Mexico on Falcon Lake. The lake is a 100-kilometre-long (60 mi) reservoir constructed in 1954 and is a known drug smuggling route.
A turf war between rival drug cartels for control of the lake began in March 2010 and has led to a series of armed robberies and shooting incidents. All of the attacks were credited to the Los Zetas cartel and occurred primarily on the Mexican side of the reservoir but within sight of the Texas coast. The so-called pirates operate “fleets” of small boats designed to seize fishermen and smuggle drugs.
While the events have been referred to colloquially as piracy, all the waters of Falcon Lake are considered either US or Mexican territorial waters and therefore are not technically piracy under Article 101 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Gulf of Guinea
Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea affects a number of countries in West Africa as well as the wider international community. By 2011, it had become an issue of global concern. Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea are often part of heavily armed criminal enterprises, who employ violent methods to steal oil cargo. In 2012, the International Maritime Bureau, Oceans Beyond Piracy and the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Program reported that the number of vessels attacks by West African pirates had reached a world high, with 966 seafarers attacked during the year.
Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has evolved over the first decade of the century. For some time, smaller ships shuttling employees and materials belonging to the oil companies with any involvement in oil exploration had been at risk in Nigeria. Over time, pirates became more aggressive and better armed. As of 2014, pirate attacks in West Africa mainly occur in territorial waters, terminals and harbours rather than in the high seas. This incident pattern has hindered intervention by international naval forces. Pirates in the region operate a well-funded criminal industry, which includes established supply networks. They are often part of heavily armed and sophisticated criminal enterprises, who increasingly use motherships to launch their attacks. The local pirates’ overall aim is to steal oil cargo. As such, they do not attach much importance to holding crew members and non-oil cargo and vessels for ransom. Additionally, pirates in the Gulf of Guinea are especially noted for their violent modus operandi, which frequently involves the kidnapping, torture and shooting of crewmen. The increasingly violent methods used by these groups is believed to be part of a conscious “business model” adopted by them, in which violence and intimidation plays a major role.
By 2010, 45 and by 2012 120 incidents were reported to the UN International Maritime Organization. However, many events go unreported. Piracy acts interfere with the legitimate trading interests of the affected countries that include Benin, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As an example, trade of Benin’s major port, the Port of Cotonou, was reported in 2012 to have dropped by 70 percent. The cost of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea due to stolen goods, security, and insurance has been estimated to be about $2 billion. According to the Control Risks Group, pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea had by mid-November 2013 maintained a steady level of around 100 attempted hijackings in the year, a close third behind Southeast Asia.
Piracy in the Indian Ocean has been a threat to international shipping since the beginning of the Somali Civil War in the early 1990s. Since 2005, many international organizations have expressed concern over the rise in acts of piracy. Piracy impeded the delivery of shipments and increased shipping expenses, costing an estimated $6.6 to $6.9 billion a year in global trade according to Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP). According to the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), a veritable industry of profiteers also arose around the piracy. Insurance companies significantly increased their profits from the pirate attacks as insurance companies hiked rate premiums in response.
Combined Task Force 150, a multinational coalition task force, took on the role of fighting the piracy by establishing a Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) within the Gulf of Aden and Guardafui Channel. By September 2012, the heyday of piracy in the Indian Ocean was reportedly over. According to the International Maritime Bureau, pirate attacks had by October 2012 dropped to a six-year low, with only one ship attacked in the third quarter compared to thirty-six during the same period in 2011. By December 2013, the US Office of Naval Intelligence reported that only 9 vessels had been attacked during the year by the pirates, with zero successful hijackings. Control Risks attributed this 90% decline in pirate activity from the corresponding period in 2012 to the adoption of best management practices by vessel owners and crews, armed private security onboard ships, a significant naval presence, and the development of onshore security forces.
Strait of Malacca
Pirates in the Strait of Malacca near Indonesia are normally armed with guns, knives, or machetes. The pirates in this area also attack ships during the night. If vessels sound an alarm, the pirates usually leave without confronting the crew. Pirates in the Singapore Straits attack at night, while ships are underway or anchored.
According to the Control Risks Group, pirate attacks in the Strait of Malacca had by mid-November 2013 reached a world high, surpassing those in the Gulf of Guinea.
Sulu and Celebes Seas
The Sulu and Celebes Seas, a semi- enclosed sea area and porous region that covers an area of space around 1 million square kilometres, have been subject to illegal maritime activities since the pre-colonial era and continue to pose a maritime security threat to bordering nations up to this day. Recently, the abduction of crew members is the most common illicist activity, with most of the incidents being ascribed to the violent extremist group Abu Sayyaf. Since March 2016, the Information Sharing Centre (ISC) of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) reports a total of 86 abuctions, leading to the issue of a warning for ships transpassing the area.
Originally posted 2021-01-17 13:09:23.