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. Too Funny

    Wow, the Coast Guard will show off a weapon they will never use in any other situation than for target practice. They are a joke to the rest of the serving military community.

    October 6, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      You are a fool, and you do not speak for the rest of the serving military community. You're an idiot.

      October 6, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Bullet

      The USCG saves lives does not take lives

      October 6, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      I am in the Navy and have nothing but the greatest respect for the Coast Guard. They put people in harms way everyday for your safety and security. You should not talk about things about which you have no knowledge, it just makes you sound ignorant.

      October 6, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Flatsguide

      The USCG probably fiers their weapons more than the US Navy does. They fire on quite a few vessels during drug interdictions. You really should check out the facts before inserting your foot into your mouth.

      The pirate fisherman should also be left on-board when they sink this scow to send a message to others.

      October 6, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Craigrfast

      Nottoofunny sitting in your mothers basement criticizing the men and women who are out there protecting our shores from harm.

      October 6, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • LeonW

      The Coast Guard has served our country admirably for a couple centuries now. You are an ungrateful little pipsqueak. Next time a narco sub full of columbians with machine guns shows up outside of Key West I'll let you go handle it with your dinghy and a baseball bat.

      October 6, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • R. Glovan

      Could we please put Casey Anthony & Amanda Knox on board first before we blow it up? Those are two real big rats as well!

      October 6, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Ragweed

      To Too Funny – You are an idiot, obviously uninformed, illiterate and unintelligent.

      Semper Paratus

      October 6, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jbad04

      Did you have a big bowl of stupid for breakfast before you wrote that post?

      October 6, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • OIFVet

      I am a member of the military serving community and have GREAT respect for our Coast Guard brothers and sisters...did you know that they were on the ground in didn't think so but yes they were. When the rest of us are sitting around training in peace time they are still out there keeping us safe.

      October 6, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • JDilegge

      Being military, I say you are full of s**t. Betting you are a teenager.

      October 6, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Army Vet

      All branches of the US military are the best at what they do, and they each serve a vital function to the security of our country. Do not speak for the rest of us when you discredit others in uniform. USCG is the best in the world and we should all be proud of the job they do.

      October 6, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rick

    The Coasties are supposed to be guarding the coast, not the entire Pacific Ocean.

    October 6, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Vitto

      Wrong... We are all over the world. And do a lot in international waters. And yes I say we, becuase I'm in it

      October 6, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. Michael

    would love to know which country this vessel sail from, can't be too far from home.

    October 6, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Brian

    Save the rats! Where is PETA in all of this?

    October 6, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • WVU

      BLOW IT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RATS AND ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Put the people back on it too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      October 6, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Good one!

      October 6, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. shutup

    good use of tax payer dollars.... NOT

    October 6, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • JDilegge

      You don't pay any taxes living with mommy.

      October 6, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • JDilegge

      You don't pay any taxes living with mommy.

      October 6, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. Charlie Tuna

    Speaking of rats, whatever happened to Gahafhi ? Is he that old news, we just let him vaporize? I guess we don;t care afterall about this guy.We just market violence not justice.

    October 6, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. Michael Menocal

    Go for it! Take the people off the ship, off load the fuel and blow it up!!! Less damage to the environment and surely helps out the fishing industry and keeps more whales, dolphins and sharks alive.

    October 6, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. JOSE

    Sounds like a great idea to me. At the very least we should respect the Senator's willingness to voice his strong opinion. In today's overly sensitive society you can't say anything for fear that it will offend someone. And if you say nothing you run the risk of offending mutes. BLOW IT UP!!!!

    October 6, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. DYBO

    Too Funny should do a little research on the history and legacy of the Coast Guard before calling them a joke. Start with the year 1790.

    October 6, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. Peta


    October 6, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. KDM

    As long as the ship is drained of any fuel or toxic chemicals that could contaminate the ocean, sink the damn thing and create a wonderful habitat for Alaskan crab.

    October 6, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. Fortean

    The time has come when poachers need to be taken out to. They will only go back to do it again. Our oceans simply can not sustain this level of legal and illegal raping.

    October 6, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dede

    Just do what they love to do; blow it out of the water. No flag, sneaking around in our waters, don't belong here, has rats on board besides the poeple kind. Just sink her.

    October 6, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. Doug

    Never going happen. The environmental regulations alone make sinking this ship way to expensive. Sell it as scrap to China..

    October 6, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. bunbytes

    This sounds like a good idea to me.

    October 6, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
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