Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Somali Pirates, Seychelles Area, Redux

Three more piracy attempts to the southeast of Somalia, far out to sea. None succeeded, but once again the pirates that are getting in the plausible attempts are doing so about 500 nautical miles (900+ km) off the coast... well over halfway from mainland Africa to the Seychelles...

Hm, have not we heard something of this before?

Here is the fact sheet from the U.S. State Department's website about the Seychelles. Defense and Coast Guard capabilities are, well, limited:
In 2002, Seychelles had a defense force (Seychelles People's Defense Forces) of about 800 army personnel, including 300 in the presidential protection unit. The army has one infantry battalion and two artillery elements. Paramilitary forces include a national guard consisting of 1,000 people and a coast guard estimated at 250 and divided into two divisions, the naval wing and security or infantry division.

The Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG), which was created in 1992, assumes many of the maritime roles commonly associated with the U.S. Coast Guard. They recently acquired responsibility for search and rescue for vessel incidents as well as environmental protection from the Port and Marine Services Division. SCG has several operational vessels: the Russian-built Fortune, the Italian-built Andromache, the Scorpio, two Indian manufactured vessels, four Motor Life Boats, and the luxury yacht Gemini that also is used as the presidential yacht.

The air wing of the defense force separated from the coast guard in 1997 and does not have any dedicated aircraft, but it sometimes supplies pilots and aircrews to fly search and rescue missions. Their primary duty is to train pilots. The Island Development Corporation (IDC) maintains the pool of aircraft, using them for sources of income by chartering them out. The aircraft inventory includes one Caravan F-406, one Defender, one Cessna 150, and one Beech 1900.
Not much there to try to find a pirate mothership (or two, or more) slipping into Seychelles waters, far from the massive patrols of the world's Naval Forces working off Puntland and in the Gulf of Aden.

Might be worth doing a bit of looking around there, or to help the Seychelles government do the looking.

a most grateful hat/tip to Eagle1, who brought this back to my attention with his timely posting. EagleSpeak remains one of the best reads out there on matters combining History, Law, and Naval matters.

1 comment:

L.Douglas Garrett said...


My thanks to S.T.A.R. (Seychelles Truth Accountability Reality) for citing this Competing Hypotheses thread and most correctly attributing the citation.

A pleasure to be of service.

Best of luck, Seychellois lovers of democracy!