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. Frank

    Poor rats =[

    October 6, 2011 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
    • RGeneration

      Where's PETA when you need them? Hey PETA....they are gonna kill rats....go naked, come on !!! Been a while now.

      October 6, 2011 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. Slayer

    Stop the money drain. Sink the boat. If the Coast Guard can train on it, let 'em, they earned it. Take it outside the state waters into fed waters. The US Coast Guard did good for everyone.

    October 6, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. davey Jones

    That ship fishing there is not only stealing what belongs to America, but also damaging the environment thereby endangering the future American fishing industry. Send that ship to the bottom of the ocean.

    October 6, 2011 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    why so many congresspersons on board?

    October 6, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. gung hoe

    Sitting here watching rat busters on animal planet and found this blog how weird is that

    October 6, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. gung hoe

    i would have to think that rats would be good fishing bait

    October 6, 2011 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO ) "Right Wing Nutcase"

    Aye mate. See that rat? That rat is big as a small dog. Let's see what a 50mm chain gun can do

    October 6, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. Scott

    Save the rats and send them to Sarah Palin. They can live with her.

    October 6, 2011 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Save ther rats

    If you blow it up only 3 miles away – the rats will surely swim to the nearest shore, rats can swim for days on end, that boat will need to be suck at least 100 miles off shore to make sure the rats do not hit land. Then again, the folks in politics are probably not watching discovery.

    October 6, 2011 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO ) "Right Wing Nutcase"

    Okupy BallsStreet

    October 6, 2011 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mad Ole Lady

    @banasy. Hello to you. Its been awhile. I got a speeding ticket for going over 20 mph on my hover round and lost my license to drive one for 6 months. But I'll be back on it in 2 weeks.

    October 6, 2011 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  12. peter

    While they are in Alaska, drive S Palin and gang and put them on board, she will get on, tell her it is a cruise with a fundraiser for her, the put on GW, Rick Perry, Michelle Oblivious Bachman, Congressman John Bonehead and send her down to the bottom, far away from land, remember ALL rats are good swimmers, let's not take any chances!

    October 6, 2011 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. bill

    To see how this would be done go to

    October 6, 2011 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mary

    Kinda expensive mouse trap!

    October 6, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. LSD... Henrico, NC

    Sink it... let the Coasties have a little fun!

    October 6, 2011 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
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