Philippine piracy foiled with boiling oil.

Saw this via Facebook:

When pirates tried to board a merchant vessel off the coast of the Philippines, the crew defended their ship like a castle, throwing boiling oil and water at the invaders. They succeeded in fending off the buccaneers, but this battle highlights the variety of desperate, homebrewed anti-pirate measures that some boat crews must employ to prevent capture—or worse.

Grappling hooks, boiling oil, the works: piracy is, shockingly, on the rise around Indonesia/Malaysia.  For a given value of ‘shockingly:’ if you’re familiar at all with naval history you might be muttering right now Wait, piracy has been suppressed in that region lately? That area’s been a pirate haven for a long time, and it looks like it’s back to  being one again. And it’ll probably stay one until some Great Power decides to keep a cruiser squadron in the area to do anti-pirate duty.

Which was, by the way, a nasty yet necessary job.  In the past, it often involved literally burning out pirate havens.  Which is probably one reason why nobody’s jumping all over themselves to take on that particular responsibility.

4 thoughts on “Philippine piracy foiled with boiling oil.”

  1. One nation’s Pirate is another’s Privater. There is a nation in the neighborhood aspiring for Great Power status, but they are better served with interference than free sea-lanes.

    1. Well, now, it’d be just fascinating to send a cruiser squadron and sink some pirates and see if that other nation complains, and then just ask them to explain why they’re complaining about pirate eradication.

      I mean, surely no civilized nation would object to hunting down pirates.

  2. The thing I don’t understand, is why these sailors don’t arm themselves with actual weapons.
    With a basic shipboard machine shop, you could easily give yourself the ability to throw a lot of lead downrange, while maintaining plausible deniability in that a variety of innocuous small parts can just happen to be quickly assembled into something useful. (Heck, you could even set it up so that many of the parts perform real tasks until needed.)

    1. Most nations are quite insistent that cargo ship crew are not allowed to bring guns into port, so any enterprising crew that decided to make (say) a rifle, would have to make something accurate enough to be useful at whatever distance pirate shootouts would take place at, but also be very disguisable. Those may be conflicting criteria.

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