A Murder at Sea. Caught on Camera. Will Anyone Investigate?

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Narwhal chaser…

(damn sometimes i don’t have thick enough skin to be on the internet…:sob:)


This stuff happens. When I was a bike mechanic, I had a customer who was killed as his yacht was boarded by pirates off of South America. Maybe there being video of this will result in them being found out. Quite a few nasty deeds are undone by the subsequent bragging.


justice is a mirage

Since(according to the article) it seems that most of the violence occurs under circumstances with multiple layers of people who don’t want to talk about it and authorities who don’t want to see it, now that the high-profile pirate hits on large shipping fad has declined substantially, I wonder if satellite imagery will end up being the best available source of data?

I’d be shocked if anybody will kick in the assistance of their officially-nonexistent surveillance satellites; but commercial and scientific satellite imaging has improved substantially; and while it doesn’t offer 24/7 coverage, it’s likely that a satellite is watching a given area of ocean more often than a coast guard is.

IDing small boats within the resolution limits of commercial images would be pretty hopeless; but large ones would be identifiable and the presence or absence of small ones would be verifiable if weather allows, which might at least let you inquire after the owners/operators of large boats that appear to be having unusual interactions with small ones.


Based on what I just read, if this is happening in open waters where no particular government has jurisdiction…exactly what can anyone do?


What happens in international waters, stays in international waters.

Hell if Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips (btw, Amazing performance by Hanks again) can’t get people to give two shits about pirates and ne’er-do-wells on the open sea, your little newspaper doesn’t stand a chance.


I’m definitely not a subject matter expert; but my understanding is, in theory, the flag nation of the ship in question has jurisdiction over it and its passengers; and some states assert additional rights of jurisdiction either with respect to crimes committed by citizens(eg. the US tried to discourage child abuse by sex tourists by making it a crime for US nationals even if they commit it in Thailand or otherwise outside the US) or against their citizens.

If the incident occurs close enough to shore(I think 12 miles out is considered soverign-same-as-land, but the larger ‘economic exclusion zones’ may only cover things like fishing and oil drilling) then the state whose coast is nearby has jurisdiction; and certain things, mostly piracy, are subject to universal jurisdiction(if anyone feels like asserting it),

In practice, of course, a lot of popular flag nations offer flags of convenience that are super cheap and involve no pesky questions; but also provide basically zero service, so they are effectively useless at asserting jurisdiction, and typically not interested. And, if a ship is flagged in its actual home country, it is not unlikely that the home country considers the ship’s successful operation in whatever task it performs more important than what happens to a few unknowns who were probably just pirates anyway.

So, in theory, there is some law available; but it is less likely to be backed by any law enforcement assets or necessarily all that interested in getting involved. If you did something that managed to get the right nation state pissed off, it’s not as though you could just go “LOL! International Waters!!!” and skate(and even if, legally speaking, you could, “LOL! International Waters!!!” would presumably apply when you mysteriously turn up overboard, no?); but if nobody rocks the boat it just isn’t all that likely that anybody’s cops/coast guard/navy will show up to do anything about it.

Apparently even cruise ships, which tend to be loaded with nationals of countries with international clout and mostly ply fairly safe routes, are not a location where you want to try to get anyone to take a criminal complaint seriously(you’d almost certainly get a response in event of a pirate attack or hijacking or something; but passenger-on-passenger crime is apparently a black hole).


Seems to be exactly why no one would want to get involved right? clear as the darkest thickest mud ever. Which is sad.

Also not any kind of expert, but I was given to understand that every nation has jurisdiction in crimes of this kind: pirates are legally hostes humani generis, enemies of humankind, and any country may prosecute an act of piracy on the high seas.


Given the shit response, and response time, of various governments during the shoot-down of Flight 17 over Ukraine, I can’t see those same governments getting any quicker because of the deaths shown in this story.

Things have gotten to a seriously stupid level with government use of surveillance tech.

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According to the internet, the vessel shown is
CHUN I NO.217, LONGLINER, TAIWAN, BI 2353, 741CT7-000353.

So people should call the consulates & embassies of Taiwan.

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Satellite coverage of any given poin is not constant, even for major military powers, so that would be very hit or miss.

If I remember this video when it came out last year or a year before that, the men doing the shooting are actually the men that run the ship. They had been attacked by pirates in the past and they had fired a warning shot to tell these folks to stay away. It is illegal for ships to have guns like this in most countries, so a lot of them meet up with mercenaries that have floating caches out past international boundaries where the law doesn’t matter.

The pirates generally know most ships are unarmed – or have maybe one gun – so they ignore the warning shots hoping the overrun them with greater force. And apparently it doesn’t take too many men with guns to take over an entire ship if you have none. So these guys decided to make an example of the pirates that day.

I mean, in the end does it matter? 50 miles out to sea…you shoot and disable the engine AND sink the ship they have. They weren’t going to make it anyways. And this is entirely seemingly alright. However shooting them before they dye of drowning? Wrong. I just find it ironic and nothing more. I’m a peaceful person, but if someone were to try to do me harm…yeah…I’m not going to stop to save them either way if they get themselves in a bad situation so if I were in this position and just left them, it would essentially be the same as the murder shown.

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Not true for geostationary sats. Otherwise DirecTV couldn’t work.

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True, but they are too far up for surveillance. Geo-stationary is used for comms and weather tracking.


Certainly; but it still seems like it might be worth something compared to the ground-level coverage in the areas of interest, which appears to be largely nonexistent.

I did SatCom in the Air Force. I think you may want to reconsider what could be done in the skies without your knowledge.

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An appeal to authority? Awesome?

You may want to reconsider how stupid you think other people are.

Physics remains physics, regardless of who you work for. I have no doubt that a satellite large-enough to conduct optical surveillance could be lifted to G-S orbit, and I have little doubt that there are satellites a-way up there doing that. But I do have significant doubt that they spent all that time effort and money to gaze at generally blank bits of ocean in the hopes of spotting some piratical shenanigans - rather than perennially interesting spots like North Korea or north-central Iran.

(also; ‘SatCom’ - as in satellite communications? Yeah, that’s exactly what I was talking about when I said ‘comms and weather tracking’ :wink: Your own example - DirecTV - is just a comms satellite.)

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Didn’t say anything contrary to that.

X-37B is just the tip of the iceberg.