Murder at Sea

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For instance, there were 10 Sri Lankan migrants, a group that included women and children, who were smuggled aboard a fishing boat in near the island nation.


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When their demands to set a new course for Australia were refused, the migrants attacked the crew, killing at least two men by throwing them overboard. Or the three captive Burmese workers who in escaped their Thai trawler in the South China Sea by leaping overboard, swimming to a nearby yacht, killing its owner and stealing his lifeboat. The waters near Bangladesh illustrate why maritime violence is frequently overlooked by the international community. In the past five years, nearly sailors and fishermen have been killed annually in Bangladeshi waters — and as least as many taken hostage — in a string of attacks by armed gangs, according to local media and police reports.

Malaysia cops: Murder at sea may be due to revenge, Malaysia News - AsiaOne

Armed assaults have been a problem there for two decades, according to insurance and maritime security analysts. In , the Bangladeshi media reported the abduction of more than fishermen, in September alone. Forty were reported killed in a single episode, many of them with their feet and hands bound before being thrown overboard. These attacks were usually conducted by the half-dozen armed gangs that operate protection rackets in the Bay of Bengal and the swampy inland waters called the Sundarbans.

Last year, they engaged in gun battles with the Bangladesh Air Force and Coast Guard during government raids on coastal camps and hostage ships. Those claims pivot on a legal distinction between piracy, which under international law occurs on the high seas or in waters farther than 12 miles from shore, and robbery, which involves attacks closer to land. After Bangladeshi officials protested to the International Maritime Bureau, which tracks piracy at sea, that their country was stigmatized as a high-piracy zone, the group amended its website to say its warning covered piracy and armed robbery.

In an interview, Mukundan Pottengal, the director of the bureau, which is primarily funded by shipping companies and insurers, said his organization does not try to determine the exact location of attacks or whether they are in national or international waters, partly because these details are often contested by countries. On his fishing boat, Rio said that violence is just a part of life at sea.

Making a hand gesture as though he was firing his gun in the air, Rio revved his engine, lurching the boat forward, showing how he charged at others in these situations. A wiry chain-smoker, Rio recounted the last time he used his gun. A year earlier, he said, he fired at a bigger ship that approached his boat late at night without permission. Rio said he then sped away, uncertain whether he had hit anyone on board.

Devastating images of Syrian refugees seeking peace on their journey to Europe.

Asked whether he reported the shooting to the police, Rio crinkled his face as if he did not understand. About 25 miles offshore from the United Arab Emirates in the Gulf of Oman, a half-dozen private security guards sat on the upper deck of the Resolution , a St.

Runaway Burmese fishermen struggle to survive on the Indonesian island of Tual.

Kitts and Nevis-flagged floating armory. Many of the new hires lack combat experience, speak virtually no English despite a fluency requirement , and do not know how to clean or fix their weapons, said the guards, most of whom spoke only on the condition of anonymity for fear they would be blacklisted from jobs. Some of the recruits show up to work carrying ammunition in Ziploc bags or shoe boxes.

The maritime security industry includes fewer fly-by-night companies today than it did several years ago, according to the guards. But the potential for mishandling attacks — with possibly deadly consequences — has increased over the past year or so, they argued, because the shipping industry has been cutting costs, shifting from four-man security teams to teams of two or three less experienced men. The foot Resolution is among several dozen converted cargo ships, tugboats and demining barges that have been parked in high-risk areas of the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, usually just outside national waters.

Then they wait, sometimes for weeks, for their next job. Somali piracy spurred many governments to encourage merchant vessels to arm themselves or hire private security, a break from the longstanding practice of nations trying to maintain a near monopoly on the use of force. Meanwhile, growing terrorism concerns led port officials globally to impose tighter restrictions on weapons being carried into national waters. Floating armories emerged as a solution. Targets are almost always fast moving. Aim is usually wobbly because the ship constantly sways. Some ships are the equivalent of several football fields in length, too big, these guards contended, for a two- or three-man security detail to handle, especially when attackers arrive in multiple boats.

Discerning threats is difficult. Smugglers, with no intention of attacking, routinely nestle close to larger merchant ships to hide in their radar shadow and avoid being detected by coastal authorities. Fishing boats also sometimes tuck behind larger ships because they churn up sea-bottom sediment that attracts fish.

The armories themselves can be crucibles of violence. Guards climbing off another floating armory, the Seapol One, pulled out their smartphones and showed pictures of the infested, cramped, trash-strewn cabins where eight men bunked. Like most floating armories, the Seapol One, run by the Sri Lankan firm Avant Garde Maritime Services , had no armed security of its own to police its guests or protect against pirates who might seek to commandeer the arsenal.

Most coastal nations oppose the armories, though they can do little to stop them since they are situated in international waters. None of the guards interviewed knew of any fatal clashes on the armories. But there was no shortage of friction, they said. A Latvian guard, weighing more than pounds and standing well over six feet, relieved himself in the shower because he could not fit in the bathroom stalls.


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Confronted by other guards, he refused to clean it up. Several days earlier a heated argument erupted between two South African guards and their team leader. Unpaid for nearly a month, the men had been abandoned by their security company and left on the Seapol with no way to get back to port. Kevin Thompson, a British guard, described intense boredom and isolation, which some guards relieved with occasional drinks of forbidden alcohol or by lifting weights, assisted by steroids.

The video of the killing of the four men speaks to a survival-of-the-fittest brutality common at sea, according to a dozen security experts who reviewed the footage.

They speculated that one gunman, quite likely a private security guard, did all the shooting, using a semiautomatic weapon. And, they said, the four ships at the scene were probably associated with one another, perhaps by shared ownership. Last summer, the police in the Fijian capital of Suva closed their investigation into the shootings. They reasoned that the incident did not occur in their national waters, nor did it involve their vessels.


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Since no Fijian mariners had been reported missing, they concluded none of their citizens were among the victims. When governments investigate incidents like this, their goal is typically not to find the culprit, said Glen Forbes from OceanusLive, the maritime risk firm. Crazy Credits. Alternate Versions.

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Floating Armories

All Episodes After fighting the flames, state troopers discover the remains of a Director: Stephen Schuster. IMDb's Guide to Horror. Use the HTML below.

Ian Urbina of the New York Times Follows Up on Murder at Sea

You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Photos Add Image Add an image Do you have any images for this title? Edit Cast Episode credited cast: Josh Opper Chris Heyman Scott D Gold Boat Captain Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Dylan Bronte John Peel Michael Wayne Brown Investigator Juli Cuccia Deans Mom Dean DeVito Bailiff 1 Paula Drake Ray Shapely Steve Helling Himself - Reporter Marcus Henderson Mark Coulthurst Jim Jepson Washington Cop Tomas Johansson Dean's Father Paula Kelley Lisa Coulthurst-Barone Rebecca Kessler Irene Coulthurst Michael Moon Larry Demmert Jr.

Edit Storyline The small fishing town of Craig, Alaska is stunned when a premiere fishing boat explodes into flames just off shore. Genres: Crime. Certificate: TV Runtime: 42 min.

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