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VESSEL, mar. law. A ship, brig, sloop or other craft used in navigation. 1 Boul. Paty, tit. 1, p. 100. See sup.
     2. By an act of congress, approved July 29, 1850, it is provided that any person, not being an owner, who shall on the high seas, willfully, with. intent to burn or destroy, set fire to any ship or other vessel, or otherwise attempt the destruction of such ship or other vessel, being the property of any citizen or citizens of the United States, or procure the same to be done, with the intent aforesaid, and being thereof lawfully convicted, shall suffer imprisonment to hard labor, for a term not exceeding ten years, nor less than three years, according to the aggravation of the offence.

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The IMB's latest piracy report--covering January to June of this year, notes 26 pirate attacks on chemical vessels worldwide.
All types of seagoing vessels are being attacked, from tug boats and fishing trawlers to cruise ships to large chemical vessels and oil supertankers, such as the Saudi's Sirius Star, captured by Somali pirates in November 2008.
Destruction of chemical vessels at treatment plants could release toxic agents into the air, for example.

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