The Pirate Panic Button

A war photo a day #20

The Pirate Panic Button The Pirate Panic Button

Uncategorized August 27, 2013 0

David Axe photo The Pirate Panic Button A war photo a day #20 Eight years. Seven wars. More death and destruction than I care... The Pirate Panic Button
David Axe photo

The Pirate Panic Button

A war photo a day #20

Eight years. Seven wars. More death and destruction than I care to recount. I’ve been covering armed conflict since 2005. Every battlefield has its stories … and its unforgettable images. Follow me through my career at war, one jarring, haunting or sublime photo a day until I run out.

In late 2008 Somali pirates were on a tear, capturing large merchant ships at a rate of around one per week. Crews were quickly ransomed if they were lucky, held for years or even killed if their luck failed. I went to Mombasa, Kenya, to interview survivors.

Motaku Shipping in Mombasa possessed just four small coastal freighters. In a decade of instability and banditry all four of Motaku’s vessels were hijacked, some more than once. Owner Karim Kudrati practically begged for outside military intervention.

MV Semlow was one of the targeted ships. I motored out to visit Capt. Edward Kalendaro, pictured. He showed me the big red panic button installed on the bridge. Mash it and a radio SOS went out to nearby naval vessels.