Petty Officer Trent Shaw at his station on HMAS Parramatta conducting maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean to reduce terrorism, prevent piracy and reduce illegal trafficking of people and drugs.
Petty Officer Trent Shaw at his station on HMAS Parramatta conducting maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean to reduce terrorism, prevent piracy and reduce illegal trafficking of people and drugs. Contributed

Our dad the pirate hunter

WHEN it comes to 'show and tell' the Shaw kids of Casino have a pretty cool story about what their dad does for a living.

Karla, 9, Ethan, 7, and Cameron, 5, can say their dad's job is chasing pirates on the high seas.

Their dad, Petty Officer Trent Shaw, is currently stationed on HMAS Parramatta, a ship that conducts maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

It's believed Mr Shaw is currently off the coast of Africa, where pirates often traffic drugs and conduct hijackings.

But Bridgette Shaw, 32, said the only thing her kids know about global piracy is what they've seen in the film Pirates of the Caribbean.

"Kids don't think of modern-day pirates - they think of people with eye patches and birds on their shoulders who have cannons and harpoons," she laughed.

As the ship's Communications Centre Manager, Mr Shaw is in charge of everything from satellite communications to Morse code.

In 2003 he was deployed to the Middle East aboard HMAS Anzac when he was awarded a Unit Citation for providing naval gunfire support during the Iraq conflict.

Then in April last year Mr Shaw was awarded the rare 'Commanding Officers Commendation'.

"The Commendation has to be one of the highlights of my career to date," he said.

"Just knowing that we are helping to provide stability and security to the region makes the time away from home easier to bear."

When the couple met at Casino High School, Mrs Shaw never imagined her future husband would wind up spending 15 years at sea.

"He used to get sick on a milk pond when he was little so it cracks me up that he joined the navy," she said.

The family have only seen Mr Shaw four times in the last 12 months and they are thrilled he will be coming home to Casino in March.

"I don't ever blame him or get cranky at him for being away because that's his job," she said

"I'm so proud of him... and as far as I'm concerned if he comes home in one piece I'm happy."

 

MODERN PIRATES

Forget images of a swashbuckling Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush, the modern day pirate is generally aged between 20-35 years old and comes from the region of Puntland, in north-eastern Somalia.

The East African Seafarers' Association estimates that there are at least five pirate gangs and a total of 1000 heavily armed men.

According to a BBC report, pirates can be divided into three main categories:

Local Somali fishermen, considered the brains of the pirates' operations due to their skill and knowledge of the sea. Many think that foreign boats have no right to cruise next to the shore and destroy their boats.

Ex-militiamen, who previously fought for the local clan warlords, or ex-military the former Barre government used as the muscle.

Technical experts, who operate equipment such as GPS devices.



Community say 'leave Australia Day alone'

Community say 'leave Australia Day alone'

MP's survey results reveal most want date to remain unchanged

New reforms help protect small businesses

premium_icon New reforms help protect small businesses

Important reforms launched to help fix major credit issues

Whether it's in a keg, a can or a bottle, we make good beer

premium_icon Whether it's in a keg, a can or a bottle, we make good beer

Northern Rivers brewer in book listing best Aussie beers

Local Partners