The pirates of the River Mersey


BRITAIN has suffered its first PIRATE attack in nearly 200 years — on the Mersey in Liverpool.

A cargo ship was boarded by two Scousers disguised as deck hands.

But they left with nothing after crew rumbled the pair and chased them off.

The ship’s foreign owner reported the raid to the International Chamber of Commerce’s Maritime Bureau. 

Officials logged it as an “attempted pirate attack”, making it the first recorded incident to hit our coastline since the 1820s.

It means Britain joins notorious piracy hotspots around the world on the ICC’s map of 2007 attacks.

The Liverpool raid — among 110 across the globe this year — was rumbled when the moored ship’s lookout officer saw two men acting suspiciously on the dockside.

When the pair tried to board they were confronted and asked for ID. After failing to produce any, they made off down the gangplank. One was arrested, but his partner escaped.

An ICC source said: “The last real act of piracy on Britain’s shores was so long ago that records are very sketchy.

“In the heyday of piracy — during the late 1700s and early 1800s — it was known for merchant ships to be attacked by particularly daring brigands. But I doubt if anyone would have tried what these two chaps did at that time in history given the reputation of our Royal Navy back then.

 “If a pirate was caught there was very little mercy shown.” The source added: “These guys were hardly from the Captain Blackbeard school of piracy — in fact they were more like Captain Pugwash. They were dressed up as stevedores — deck hands — but the disguises weren’t great and they got rumbled before they’d barely set foot on deck.

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