BRITAIN'S first private navy in almost two centuries is being created by a group of businessmen to take on the Somali pirates who are terrorising an expanse of the Indian Ocean. Simon Murray, Clencore chief, is building the force. Its armed vessels - including a 10,000-ton mother ship and high-speed armoured patrol boats - will be led by a former Royal Navy commodore. He is recruiting 240 former marines and other sailors for the force.
The pirates will face former marines in armoured patrol boats capable of 40 knots and able to withstand incoming Kalashnikov fire. They will be armed with close-quarter battle weapons, such as the M4 carbine, and sniper rifles with a range of 2km.I could never understand why shipping companies and/or their clients didn't do something about the piracy. A well trained Infantry section of ten men could stop piracy dead in the water and they wouldn't cost much. Include a cameraman to film the destruction of the pirates and their small craft and send that to be transmitted on local Somali TV and the problem would fade.
"The guys started off with their own PR being around poor fisherman having waste dumped in their waters. But sympathy disappears when you start killing people and extorting companies," says Sharp. "There are 38 piracy training camps run by rogue special forces. It's financed by people buying shares in their teams. So if you fund their boat, you get a share in the ransom." Sharp believes the proceeds are fuelling micro property bubbles in places as far afield as Nairobi. "Ultimately that's being paid for by Lloyds and the insurance market," he adds.I admire the initiative and hope it comes to fruition