Kill rats and show off Coast Guard firepower, senator says
The Coast Guard cutter Munro intercepted a pirate fishing vessel off Alaska last month.
October 5th, 2011
01:34 PM ET

Kill rats and show off Coast Guard firepower, senator says

What do you do with a rat-infested, stateless pirate fishing vessel? Blow it up to show off the firepower of the Coast Guard's newest, toughest cutters, a U.S. senator says.

Crew from the Coast Guard cutter Munro seized the Bangun Perkasa, which was not operating under a national flag, 2,600 miles off Alaska in September after it was suspected of engaging in fishing with drift nets on the high seas, according to the Coast Guard. Drift net fishing is illegal because the nets indiscriminately kill massive amounts of fish and other marine life such as endangered whales and turtles.

The vessel was found to have been using 10 miles of drift nets and had 22 tons of squid and 30 shark carcasses aboard, the Coast Guard said. The fishing boat and its crew of 22 were towed to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in the Aleutian Islands.

And that's when the Coast Guard found evidence of rats on board.

Ships with rats aboard are not allowed into Alaska ports, so the Bangun Perkasa sits at anchor three miles out of Dutch Harbor. Its crew is in custody ashore.

But the rats are still aboard, and Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska says they should be dispatched to the deep along with the ship and its drift nets.

“It would send an unambiguous signal that pirate fishing is unacceptable to the United States and will not be tolerated.  It will prevent this rust bucket from ending up back on the market where it most likely would only fall into the hands of some other pirate," Begich said in a statement.

Shelling the vessel would also give the Coast Guard a chance to show off its newest ships, the National Security Cutters, the senator said.

“In addition to solving the rat problem, using the Bangun Perkasa for gunnery practice could demonstrate the advanced firepower of the Coast Guard’s new National Security Cutters,” Begich said in his statement.

The Coast Guard deployed the new National Security Cutters, the Bertholf and the Waesche, last year.

The Coast Guard deployed its first two National Security Cutters, the Bertholf, and the Waesche, last year. Three more are in the works. The new cutters replace 40-year-old High Endurance Cutters at a time when the service faces new missions.

The new cutters have a crew of 113, a range of 12,000 miles, a helicopter flight deck and small-boat launch platform, and their command-and-control systems permit increased interoperability with the departments of Homeland Security and Defense, the Coast Guard says.

In a release announcing the capture of the Bangun Perkasa, Rear Adm. Cari Thomas, the Coast Guard director of response policy, saluted the 40-year-old Munro and hailed the arrival of the new ships.

“This case demonstrates how our cutters and crews allow the United States to maintain constant vigil far from the U.S. mainland and reflects the value of having a maritime service that can protect U.S. interests including the environment, security and safety regionally and globally,” the admiral said.

“Our high endurance cutters routinely operate from South America to the Bering Sea conducting alien migrant interdiction operations, domestic fisheries protection, search and rescue, counternarcotics and homeland security operations for extended periods of time. The Munro, and cutters like it, are more than 40 years old and slated for replacement. National Security Cutters that are faster, better equipped, more durable, safer and more efficient than their predecessor, will continue to ensure U.S. interests are protected today and for decades to come.”

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Filed under: Alaska • Environment • Pirates • U.S. Coast Guard
soundoff (363 Responses)
  1. Nate

    Drain the fuel, blow it out of the water. but take it further out than three miles.

    Rats are amazingly good swimmers.

    Also: I support Bimbo the Birthday Clown for 2012

    October 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • mBarry

      You support re-election?

      October 6, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
    • just1jarhead

      Obama's not the problem. The problem is little kitty cats like you hiding behind their computer while disrespecting the Office of the President.

      October 6, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Hey You

      Most of us have the highest regard for the Office of the President. That is why we want the current occupant removed.

      October 6, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      "hey", I bet you are one of those who never criticized Shrub, and insisted that anyone who did was un-American.

      October 6, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. DNA

    I think everybody knows we can already blow up an old boat. How much will that cost anyway? Can we take it out of Senator BlowItUp's paycheck?

    October 5, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Seriously, cant they give the boat to someone that needs it somewhere. Its such a waste to blow up something else. Haven't we done enough of that lately.

      October 5, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • frontgate

      you're an idiot with the cost thing

      October 6, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • frontgate

      john, seriously, you're an idiot also

      October 6, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerkweed

      Moron alert.

      October 6, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • NanookoftheNorth

      Won't cost you anything so what's the worry ?

      October 6, 2011 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. John

    The nets and fuel/oil are a problem. Im sure there are other toxins on it. But I guess it woudl be better to take care of the big stuff then dispose of it at sea.

    I cant believe we spent so much on the military in the last decade then we get nickeled and dimed for services.

    October 5, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Carol

    Maybe the Coast Guard will get some extra money for this. The Coast Guard budget is dismal at best. More with less, to blow up a boat.

    October 6, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. marik7

    Could they blow up Congress? Just the building, of course.

    October 6, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay Crandall

      Jeez! not the building! That costs money to replace- Blow up Congress...politicians reproduce like rats anyway... (Snicker)

      October 6, 2011 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. salman

    kill terrorists, show off firepower. that's how it goes.

    October 6, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tom H - Seattle

    Yeah, the Coast Guard can use the money. I left thirty years ago and things were tight then. Can't imagine how tight money must be now. They do good work.

    October 6, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jimh77

    Take it out to the middle of the ocean where these folks lay these nets and let the ship rip the nets apart. It will also creeate a habitat for marine life to take refuge in. Always a good thing.

    October 6, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
    • NanookoftheNorth

      But in the meantime the whales, sharks and other species can still be caught in those nets while waiting for the sea and the boat to tear them apart.

      October 6, 2011 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. derp

    lets explode a ship rather than place rat poison on it. The people will love the way we spend their money and it will scare our enemies. Although no one saw it.

    What the fick is going on

    October 6, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. Alaska Gurrrrrrrlllll

    Rats can swim SO FAR. Take the ship WAY OUT and sink it.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      There have been vetted stories of rats tying together "tea bags"and using them as flotation devices.... so try 80 miles.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
    • NanookoftheNorth

      How 'bout we send it south, say toward Mexico, where the cartels are ?

      Alaska Naannoookk

      October 6, 2011 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. Kenny

    Drain the fuel and oil from the engines, put Perry, Palin, Santorum, Romeny, Paul, Cain, Gingrich, McConnel, Cantor, Beohner and Bachmann on board, tow it 40 miles out to sea and sink that sucker.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      totally agree...but there are many more that should added to that passenger list. This a chance to throw all the "Tea" overboard.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Virginia Dad

      How about we put you and all you liberals on board? Why does everything people commen on have to be about politicians, either party? Just comment on the story and move on.

      October 6, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • KingRat

      But what about the poor rats?

      October 6, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. Pete

    Blow it up, quit playing politics we still are the big momma in the bed, and we roll over something needs to move. Quit pacifying these people and their high dollar lawyers that I pay for with taxes... Haul it out and sink it

    October 6, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  13. Passion888

    This sounds like fun. I say a controlled burn from the outer perimeter of the ship to the interior. So the rats would get cooked in the fire...

    October 6, 2011 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
    • fearlessdude

      Why are you angry at the rats? They don't need to be tortured. Just kill them.

      October 6, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. M-Theory

    Save the rats and blow up the Coast Guard. Make the ship's crew walk home.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay Crandall

      Your relatives, M?

      October 6, 2011 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Virginia Dad

      Again another idiot thinks just because I can post something I will. "See how smart I is?" – M-Theory Do us all a favor and go back to your coloring books in the corner.

      October 6, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. J. Muir

    First put the crew back on board, tow it out ten miles and then sink it.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
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