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.
â€śIt would send an unambiguous signal that pirate fishing is unacceptable to the United States and will not be tolerated.Â 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.
â€śIn addition to solving the rat problem, using the Bangun Perkasa for gunnery practice could demonstrate the advanced firepower of the Coast Guardâ€™s new National Security Cutters,â€ť Begich said in his statement.
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.
â€śThis 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,â€ť the admiral said.
â€śOur 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.â€ť
Poor rats =[
Where's PETA when you need them? Hey PETA....they are gonna kill rats....go naked, come on !!! Been a while now.
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.
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.
why so many congresspersons on board?
Sitting here watching rat busters on animal planet and found this blog how weird is that
i would have to think that rats would be good fishing bait
Aye mate. See that rat? That rat is big as a small dog. Let's see what a 50mm chain gun can do
Save the rats and send them to Sarah Palin. They can live with her.
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.
@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.
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!
To see how this would be done go to corehtml5.com
Kinda expensive mouse trap!
Sink it... let the Coasties have a little fun!