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. crabman

    sink it an be done with it

    October 6, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Cliff

    Yeah you could fill it with all the a holes in that forgotten prison in Cuba,.. but then again all that fuel oil etc would really help the crab and fishing industries at Dutch etc, can't wait for dangerous catch this season.

    October 6, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. Chuck

    What are we waiting for? It should of been sunk after the took the crew off... blow it up and put it on the world wide web... SEND A MESSAGE !

    October 6, 2011 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |

    Send it right to Davey Jones Locker,then head for Samolia. There's alot of Pi-rats to take care of.

    October 6, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. FUNR

    Is this a story about intercepting the pirate ship, the redneck senator from Alaska, or the super duper National Security class of cutters? Poorly written propaganda piece reminiscent of 1940s when the government controlled the press...

    October 6, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Guest

    Might I suggest turning it into a prison for all our child molesters and rapists

    and THEN blow it up

    October 6, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Britt

      ...and then sink it.

      October 6, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. Think before you act

    Ok, shell the boat and sink it to send a message to "pirates." The ship carries fuel oil, lubrication oil, and who knows what other chemicals. Do we really want to send that into the water just to show-off the fact that we can blow-up a boat? Let's hope some thought is put into this idea before any action is taken.

    October 6, 2011 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. Iskrenie

    If we kill all the rats, there'd be no politicians...hmmm.....I'm thinking about this...Naw..that'd be too easy...

    October 6, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Hexdragon

      or lawyers

      October 6, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. Allen

    Make every one of those pirates dump it's cargo in the sea so that it can naturally be cleaned up by fish and crabs... Then extract all the fuel, gut it for parts, and then blow that ship up.

    October 6, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. JLT

    Remove as much gas and other dangerous chemicals as possible – we have the technology to do this – and then drop that thing like a hot rock. Fish and other marine animals will use the sunken boat as shelter.

    October 6, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bryan

    wow, first off.
    1. the intentional sinking of a vessel is called "scuttling"
    2. Most of the hazardous materials will be removed or rendered inert. Obviously the asbestos insulation that is assuredly there wont be removed, however any fuel, or oil will be pumped off or an agent will be added to them to chemically break them down.

    Also im no nautical guy... but the vessel in the picture labled as the pirate fishing vessel seems to be large enough to qualify it as a "Ship" not a "Boat".... there is a difference.

    October 6, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. Victor

    Well sorry folks, I say sink her. One major storm in the Dutch Harbor area, and at the look of the piece of junk,, it would have been at the bottom anyway. Just one good placed shot or strategically placed charges and bye bye

    October 6, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. Chris

    Sink it and let them die of hypothermia.

    October 6, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. SGinNE

    Sink It...yesterday!

    October 6, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Nick

    Boys playing with their toys.

    October 6, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
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