Here’s a heart-warming story on what is, for most of us in the U.S., a cold and hard Saturday. If you’ve been following the exploits of the Somali Pirates, then your know that they hijacked the Saudi supertanker Sirius Star November 15 and had held its 25-member crew and $100 Million cargo of crude hostage since then.
The Saudis, who have money to burn – or in this case, sink – are known for their tendency to cave to pirate demands. According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Navy observed a parachute, carrying what it described as “an apparent payment,” drifting toward the tanker Friday shortly before the ship and its crew were abandoned by the bad guys. The Saudis apparently had lost patience after their load of crude sat idle in the Gulf of Aden for two months while the price of oil dropped by $20 a barrel.
So the dozens of pirates who took part in the caper, grabbed the blood money (a reported $3 Million), divided it up, piled into small boats and headed for land. Here’s where the story becomes an uplifting morality tale. The Arabian Gulf has its storms, and a strong one arose as the pirates were making for shore. One of the boats capsized, and five of the eight bold buccaneers aboard drowned. The one-eighth share of the loot – about $375,000 – was lost.
I can’t help but wonder what is going through the minds of the three pirates who survived the mishap. If only we knew their identities, we could have three t-shirts silk-screened to send to them. I would love to see the look on their faces after they tear open the wrapping to find the tees with “I held a supertanker hostage for two months and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!” printed on them.