A reminder today about the human costs of piracy:
The Danish navy has intercepted a cargo vessel that Somali pirates had hijacked in the Indian Ocean, freeing 16 of its crew members but two others died during the operation, an official said Tuesday.
Nielsen said Denmark’s HDMS Absalon intervened to stop the cargo ship when it tried to move away from the Somali coast and “become a threat against the shipping on the open sea.”
The Danish forces fired warning shots, but the boat failed to stop, said Nielsen. Danish forces then opened fire on the ship after getting permission from the NATO command that oversees the multinational anti-piracy force in the area. Nielsen said the pirates surrendered and the Danes took control of the ship.
The Danish navy said in statement that two of the hostages “were found seriously injured and even with speedy assistance from Absalon’s doctor, their lives could not be saved.”
This is why piracy is a big deal: not just because of the billions of dollars of trade that moves through the area, but the mariners that are killed every day. According to one recent study, 65 mariners have died in pirate captivity over the last five years, from torture, disease and starvation.