Friday 15 December 2006

Truth Stranger Than Fiction Department

File this one under "interesting URLs".

It's the story of the MV Sealand Express

It's a story involving a container ship being damaged by cannonballs from a sailing ship of the Royal Navy, of radioactive materials being removed by helicopter, of Hazmat teams and collisions with old shipwrecks, and of great daring-do.

Also at the CargoLaw Site, a distressing report on Piracy on the High Seas. Not just the Billions (yes, Billions) of dollars worth of cargo and shipping stolen each year, but the many lives of merchant seamen that have been lost.

When Chinese workers boarded the highjacked Australian freighter M/V Erria Inge a couple of years ago to cut it up for scrap, they smelled something foul. Searching for the source, they found ten members of the crew in a long unused refrigerator. The bodies had been splashed with gasoline and burned alive by the pirates who captured the vessel.
Fortunately, the only Al Qaeda-related attack on a cruise ship so far was foiled (MV Seabourn Spirit, off Somalia, Nov 5 2005). But it wouldn't take much to have a seagoing 9/11, with the possible side benefit of the pirates looting the ship of millions before sinking her and all within her.

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