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Old 03-10-2017, 08:54 AM   #1
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Default The Ghost Ships Threat

Terror fears over hundreds of 'ghost ships' turning off GPS before entering European waters. Is Europe hurting so badly they don't have the resources to board these ships to check them out?

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Old 03-10-2017, 11:44 AM   #2
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Who has the power to board ships in international waters ?

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Old 03-10-2017, 12:08 PM   #3
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They are turning of transponders I guess, not the GPS
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Old 03-10-2017, 02:01 PM   #4
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It takes a lot of money to engage in that level of interdiction. Time for other NATO members to pay up. By funding a ridiculously outsized share of NATO's costs, the US has been subsidizing the generous social services benefits of other NATO members for decades. Sounds like it is going to take something like a dirty bomb floating into the Docklands or Hamburg before they get a clue on this.
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:27 PM   #5
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A slightly better version that isn't behind a registration wall:

Fears ISIS are smuggling people and weapons into Europe as ‘ghost ships’ sail into waters

From the article:
...Figures compiled by maritime data and analytics company Windward for The Times shows 40 ships entered Europe from Libya, close to where ISIS is operating, after "going dark" in January and February.

Thousands of ships which are automatically tracked also went under the radar on 2,850 occasions turning off their GPS devices, while 45 cargo ships that came to British waters went undetected for more than 24 hours.

Does international maritime law require that all commercial ships be equipped with GPS?

I don't mean to minimize the potential threat. But noting that thousands of ships and 2,850 instances of GPS being turned off would seem to indicate that this isn't an uncommon event. Given these numbers, interdiction based solely on lack of GPS coverage would be impossible, and likely illegal outside of the territorial waters of a nation. More discriminating information would be needed such as Owner and Operator, nation flagged, port of origin, ports of call en route, geo-location and time at loss of GPS signal and the same for re-acquisition, duration of "running dark", a history of repetition of loss of GPS, etc., before calling a ship's behavior suspicious.

If a ship's activities are deemed suspicious, it could then be met by the Coast Guard (equivalent) once it has entered a nation's territorial waters. Yes, it's interdiction after the fact but impounding these vessels and/or imposing fines on the registered Owner and the Operator will eventually take it's toll, without costing NATO yet another fortune.
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ghost, ships, threat

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