Friday, September 10, 2010

An Insider's Description Of The Magellan Star Incident

For those interested in reading more about yesterday's incident, in which US Marines rescued 11 mariners from suspected pirates aboard the MV Magellan Star, USMC Capt. Alexander Martin has posted a detailed account on the USNI Blog (here). It's a fascinating read, taking you through events from first word the freighter had been boarded by attackers through to the after incident activities carried out by naval personnel.

As Martin writes, this was something that went all the way up the food chain for approval - right to U.S. President Barack Obama. And further to what I wrote earlier about the need to rely on skilled professionals to deal with armed intruders on vessels, I'd point out one particular part of Martin's commentary. In talking of how his raiders reacted once aboard the Magellan Star, Martin writes:

"The details of what happened next are important as they highlight the individual actions of 24 highly trained shooters who were put in decision points of the highest moral magnitude: when to shoot, when not to shoot. I can't go into all these details at this time, but the long and short of it was: some of the enemy threw their hands up when rifles were put in their face, some ran and attempted to allude us in the superstructure but were run down and some hesitated but were taken down by less than lethal force, as the situation dictated. The end result was 9 pirates captured in an opposed boarding and 11 crew members rescued."

But read Martin's account; it's rare that we get such an insightful account.

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