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Uhhh, and the difference between encountering such a ship, and pretty much any other large vessel at sea would be...???

I think it's always safest to presume that no one is awake or in command of any vessel met up with offshore... Hell, I'd much sooner deal with such a ship left unattended on autopilot, for example, than most any commercial scallop boat 80 miles off the coast of New Jersey... :)

This "New Tactic" sounds typical of the sort of thing that excites Matt Drudge, but it's gonna wind up pretty far down my list of worries when I'm out sailing... Probably in the general vicinity of my concerns about, say, being struck by a meteorite while underway...

:))

What I'd like to know, however, is what the hell was the ICELANDIC Coast Guard doing down off the coast of Italy?

:)
 

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Nasty tactic...

Looks like they need a better proof reader...;)

......and the Icelandic Coast Guard towed it to the Italian port of Corigliano
EDIT.. sorry Jon - cross posted...
 

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This news is worrisome, yes, but not as much that someone here follows the Drudgereport. Plus it is not news: smugglers have done that for years. Even using semi-submarines on A/P.
 

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Uhhh, and the difference between encountering such a ship, and pretty much any other large vessel at sea would be...???

I think it's always safest to presume that no one is awake or in command of any vessel met up with offshore... Hell, I'd much sooner deal with such a ship left unattended on autopilot, for example, than most any commercial scallop boat 80 miles off the coast of New Jersey... :)

This "New Tactic" sounds typical of the sort of thing that excites Matt Drudge, but it's gonna wind up pretty far down my list of worries when I'm out sailing... Probably in the general vicinity of my concerns about, say, being struck by a meteorite while underway...
Not much room for humanity!!!!!!

:))

What I'd like to know, however, is what the hell was the ICELANDIC Coast Guard doing down off the coast of Italy?

:)
Ever heard of EU and common borders - Frontex
Frontex - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Icelandic Coast Guard rescues migrants in the Mediterranean Sea | Icelandmag
 

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I'm with Jon on this one. I couldn't care less if a vessel is manned or unmanned, it is our job to keep out of his way, no matter what. That's why we stand watches and why the watch stander isn't hunkered down under the bimini, so we have plenty of time to take action, be it a vessel not under command or a squall bearing down on us.
 

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I've also seen a cruise ship, literally, running on autopilot with NO ONE on the bridge. The new tactic is actually quite clever, sooner or later someone calls for aid, meanwhile, the smugglers are away, safe, sound, and paid. And the migrants aren't dumped at sea.

Folks should bear in mind that Iceland was home to the Norse, who used to go out Viking (a verb) every year. And that they sacked and burned all the way to Constantinople. Paris. The interior of Russia.

A trip to the Med? Honestly? That would be a short pleasure cruise for an Icelander. just leave your woman, cattle, and gold on the quayside, and they'll leave you alone.
 

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Why though is abandoning a (presumably) seaworthy cargo ship such a brilliant tactic? Sounds expensive and these traffickers are all about money, si? And what is the crew abandoning onto?

And do they put up the NUC day shapes and "red over red, captain is dead" lights? If so we can guess its a real ship officer and not just some yahoo? ;-)
 

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Why though is abandoning a (presumably) seaworthy cargo ship such a brilliant tactic? Sounds expensive and these traffickers are all about money, si? And what is the crew abandoning onto?

And do they put up the NUC day shapes and "red over red, captain is dead" lights? If so we can guess its a real ship officer and not just some yahoo? ;-)
These ships would not have been found seaworthy in any European country.
There is apparently a lot of money to be made in this illegal traffic.
Reports is that they where running out of smaller crafts previously used.
So no they have started using old run down ships that have been used for cattle transport on the African coast.

Any crew on these boats would have been arrested immediately upon entering Italian waters, so setting the autopilot and leave make sense in the twisted heads of these people.
Killing the passengers would be bad for business, leaving the people to be rescued and brought ashore in Europe is probably better...

Don't think these guys bother to put up any signals.
In one incident one of the passengers was able to communicate with the CG over the radio (VHF?)

In another case two crew members from a Norwegian freighter was lifted by a CG helicopter from their own ship over to one of these ships to get the ship back under command.
 

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I was on a freighter as a passenger traveling along the South American coast. After lunch I would take my folding chair and a cooler with a few beers sit out in my secret spot under the bridge and just stare as the freighter made it's way along the coast. One afternoon I spotted a half floating yellow 55 gallon drum. I watched as the ship kept heading towards it. Finally when it was about 3/4 of a mile away I went up to the bridge and pointed it out. They were startled they had not noticed it. Good thing it was not a mine.:eek: Even when manned things can go unnoticed by those on watch on some of the big ships. I'd give them a wide path no matter what.
 
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