Modern Piracy

Well shiver me timbers…(sorry for the lame joke, couldn’t contain myself there), but in recent news there are reports of piracy off the coast of Africa. Apparently in Somalia a group of pirates has hijacked an oil tanker from Saudi Arabia. It’s all over the news!! It’s a little strange that this happens to coincide with my research of the last American pirate, but fitting nonetheless.

The news doesn’t shock me, because let’s face it, as long as there are boats to be plundered there will be pirates to do it. These guys are a bit more legit, then Edward Owens ever was, I mean let’s be real, there were no tankers filled with $110 million dollars worth of oil floating in the Chesapeake Bay in the 1880s. Not to mention, from my research I think its safe to assume Owens did not make that much money robbing small non-commercial ships. No one in his financial situation would have been able to afford the equipment necessary to pull something like that off.

The element that surprised me is the nature of the crime. Somalia is currently in a state of political upheaval and has not had a stable government in over two decades. The lack of stability has driven the people to turn to crime, and other methods just to survive.

If you haven’t read about it, you should. Here’s some articles to take a look at:

This one is from the Washington Post and explains the situation in more detail…

And this one was the first one that popped up on google…

7 Responses to “Modern Piracy”

  1. Dr. L.M says:

    This is a good turn for this project, please find a way to incorporate this into your paper, I think it can be a good way to tie in how piracy is still around today.

  2. Kelly K says:

    You and I were talking recently about this, and I was thinking more about it. I really do find it interesting the means that people will turn to just to survive, and how piracy is something that seems to make itself known throughout history. This is something that you could explore more for your paper, looking at the reasons that Edward Owens turned to piracy and how these motives haven’t changed all that much over time.

  3. Kermit says:

    Piracy is still around and will always be, as long as there is an easy way to make money. But these pirates are not like Edward Owens was, they are not pirating for survival, it is the complete opposite. These pirates in Somalia are pirating for personal gain, they are building huge mansions to use as their pirate hideouts and have expensive cars. Edward Owens was pirating for a means of surviving and would only take what he needed to just get by. You can still use modern pirates in your project to make a distinction between Edward Owens pirating to survive.

  4. Ross says:

    I know it sounds wrong, but I think it’s cool that pirates are still out there. I mean, it’s bad and all for the people they are attacking, but how cool is it that there are still pirates? I guess your guy isn’t a lot different from those guys in Somalia…times are tough now, and they were tough back in the day when Owens was the bad boy of the Chesapeake.

    I was talking to a friend of mine from 1st year and his family is from Vietnam. When they left there in the 80s there was a real pirate problem. Or at least that what he says.

  5. Anna says:

    Ross I can see what you mean the concept of pirates as we traditionally think of them is pretty cool. I know its kind of interesting to think of someone like Black Beard or Long John Silver walking around nowadays. I mean look at the Pirate movies that are out now, we romanticize the whole concept of what it is to be a pirate but at the same time. The concept of these pirates just being out there doing whatever they want in modern times is still a little weird to me. I don’t know how I feel about knowing that there are people out there just going aboard huge oil tankers and leaving them off the coast of small countries.

  6. Kelly K says:

    Hey this is an interesting update on modern piracy from today. I found it when i logged onto my computer. Just thought I would let you know.

  7. Boogie says:

    I met the last American ever to be tried for piracy when I was a pro fisherman in the ’80’s in Alaska.
    He was a skipper on his own boat and also a fisherman and he was drunk and there was a fishing dispute and he mounted a Vietnam era cannon on the front of his vessel and rammed a Coast Guard cutter that was policing and tried to board it. This happened in the early ’70’s and I think he did 10 years.