May 2, 2010

Navy uses small boats to capture pirates closer to Somali coast

Filed under: Design,General by Branko Collin @ 2:53 pm

Hr.Ms. Johan de Witt has captured two so-called whalers off the Somali coast last week. Whalers are “pirate motherships,” as Radio Netherlands says they are called, forward operating bases from which other pirate vessels are launched.

By using the troop transporter Johan de Witt, the Dutch navy is mimicking the pirates’ tactics: using a forward operating base from which to launch small vessels, in this case landing craft.

(Note the Obama flash light on the pirate vessel.)

By the way, what do you think of the ‘new’ logo (2000) of the Ministry of Defence (right)? On the one hand I feel it is boldly modern, on the other hand it doesn’t have the don’t-mess-with-us quality that the lions, eagles, swords and shields of yesteryear had. Bold, in other words, but the wrong kind of bold.

(Source photo: Ministry of Defence. In the photo one of the whalers is brought in by a landing craft.)

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April 27, 2010

Shocking and stopping pirates from boarding

Filed under: Design,Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 4:57 pm

Lodewijk Westerbeek van Eerten invented an anti-pirate system called ‘P-Trap’. Two booms are attached to the flank of large ships that have invisible electric ropes that hang in the water. The idea is that the pirate ships cannot board the bigger ships as their motor gets caught and shocked in the ropes. Then get dragged to wherever the boat is going unless they jump ship, which is highly unlikely.

Westerbeek van Eerten, who calls himself an inventive businessman and not an inventor in all Dutch modesty, says “this anti-piracy system dissuades pirates from boarding sea going vessels.” The Royal Dutch marine has tested the P-Trap, calling it an excellent invention. Hiring armed guards is very pricy as compared to installing the P-Trap. And since we always want to know the price of things in the Netherlands, it is 50,000 to 75,000 euro for a P-Trap as compared to 120,000 euro for armed guards. The latter doesn’t guarantee pirates won’t board you, either.



June 23, 2009

Man dies during Dutch ‘RIAA’ raid

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 9:11 am

Anti-‘piracy’ bureau BREIN, the Dutch equivalent of the infamous RIAA, scored its first kill last Saturday. Literally, I am afraid. During a raid on a market in Beverwijk, a 47-year-old man from Waalwijk accosted by the raiders died of a heart attack, reports Blik op Nieuws (Dutch). The police were presumably testing that the requisite taxes on empty CDs and DVDs had been paid, and were accompanied by a posse consisting of people from the FIOD (tax police) and the Thuiskopie and BREIN foundations.

Interestingly, the story of the police and of witnesses differ substantially, writes Noordhollands Dagblad (Dutch). According to the former, the man had a heart attack after running away from the merry band of official and self-appointed copyright hunters, after which the police tried to administer first aid. Witnesses however claim that the man did not run away, and that everybody just stood there, without helping the victim.

You have to wonder why private organizations like BREIN are even allowed to accompany the police on raids like this.

(Photo by Flickr user Sheep Purple, some rights reserved.)

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April 20, 2009

Somalian piracy explained in short Dutch film

Filed under: Film,General by Orangemaster @ 8:50 am

Utrecht-based, Benin-born filmmaker Didier Chabi made a simple film interviewing three Dutch guys of Somalian descent trying to explain in laymen’s terms why Somalian pirates keep attacking ships in the Gulf of Aden.

The film (in Dutch) raises some interesting questions: why shoot the pirates after they’ve been arrested? Is that really necessary? “They negotiate with captors of non African countries and don’t kill them when they are caught. But they shoot the Somalians. No one in the film understands why and label it racism.

One guy explains that the Spanish started fishing in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean and dumping toxic waste, which resulted in them being attacked, or simply put, the Somalians defending themselves and their rights. Another simple reason for the piracy is that although Somalia has an advantageous geographical position, it hasn’t really led to any economic advantage for Somalians, a very poor African country.

No matter how reprehensible piracy is, it didn’t start in a vacuum, as the media tends to portray, according to the film.


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