PASAY CITY, PHILIPPINES -It only took a quick and practical wit to frustrate the armed attack by dreaded but stupid Somali pirates on a German-owned cargo vessel while cruising off Indian Ocean last October 24.
Although twitted by Filipino journalists as most hilarious real piracy crime story of the century, the incident has proven that astute judgment at the face of death-threatening incidents can save lives and, in this case, even made the rabid Somali pirates look like idiotic Bluto in a top clowning gig at sea with his arch-enemy, Popeye.
But many fully credit the so-called ‘great escape' to the wit of the Captain of the MV Beluga Fortune that proved true to the tactical disposition discussed in Chapter IV, Paragraph 7 of "The Art of War", the infamous world's oldest military treatise written by Sun Tzu.
It says: The general who is skilled in defense hides in the most secret recesses of the earth; he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven. Thus on the one hand we have ability to protect ourselves; on the other, a victory that is complete.
Reports reaching DFA-Manila bared that as Somali pirates tried to seize control the German-owned cargo ship at the high seas off Indian Ocean, the Captain sent out a distress call, ordered his crew to cut off the ship's fuel supply, shut down all the power on the bridge. All of them hid in a safe room below deck for two days.
Failing to find any one of them, the Somali pirates were forced to abandon the vessel after stealing some personal belongings of the crew inside their cabins.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) lauded the measures undertaken by officers and crews of MV Beluga Fortune which effectively managed to repel the attack and saved them from being taken as hostages.
The MV Beluga Fortune has a total 16 crew, eight of whom are Filipinos, and was en route to Richards Bay, South Africa at the time of the incident.
"Demoting themselves into small-time thieves, it only proved that the Somali pirates were truly stupid, indeed," a Greek seaman on vacation in Manila quipped.
MV Beluga Fortune safely reached Richards Bay in South Africa with the rescue American and British naval ships as escorts.