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A Sister Trope to Sky Pirate and Space Pirate.

Submarine Pirates are pirates who have moved with the times and use a submarine as their vessel for attacking shipping. They may be Ruthless Modern Pirates or A Pirate 400 Years Too Late, depending on their personal style.

Examples of Submarine Pirates include:

Comic Books

Fan Works


  • In Down Periscope, a U.S. Navy wargame calls for simulating an attack by terrorists working in conjunction with Submarine Pirates.
  • A Submarine Pirate is a 1915 silent film where an inventor and his accomplice plan to rob a ship carrying gold bullion by using a submarine.
  • Assault on a Queen, a lesser-known Frank Sinatra movie from the late 60's. Pirates were using a salvaged German submarine to steal gold from the QE 2, hitting it with a dummy warhead and threatening to use live ones.
  • In the 1910 short The Aerial Submarine, a man's son and daughter are kidnapped by pirates in a mysterious submarine. The father finds his children's camera, with a picture of the sub, and he takes it to the police. Meanwhile, the pirates sink a treasure ship and manage to get the loot on board before they're chased by a British navy ship, which is astonished to discover that not only can the sub go under water but it can also fly.


Live Action TV

  • Divatox from Power Rangers Turbo is an intergalactic space pirate whose HQ is a fish-shaped submarine known as the Subcraft.
  • On MythBusters, the Mythbusters attempted to build a pirate submarine out of a rowboat. It failed because the rowboat was too bouyant. They estimated it would have required approximately 2000 lb (900 kg) of ballast to submerge it.
    • Note that the Mythbusters were actually testing the feasibility of trying to walk along the ocean floor using an upside down rowboat as an air pocket as seen in Pirates of the Caribbean, not trying to make a true submarine.
  • In the pilot movie for SeaQuest DSV a heavily modified Delta IV submarine was being operated by pirates, led by former seaQuest captain Marilyn Stark.
  • An episode of Burn Notice featured an Amoral Attorney who counted a drug cartel among his many evil clients. To rescue his daughter, Westen and crew request that the attorney get them a one-man submarine from the cartel. The submarine ends up being Team Westen's payment.
  • A two-part episode of TV Colosso featured a crew of Submarine Pirates led by Captain F.J., whose name has been commented as being opposed to the Boss of TV Colosso, J.F.

Manga and Anime

Newspaper Comics

  • Mickey Mouse battled submarine pirates in the newspaper strip.

Tabletop Games

  • Shadowrun supplement Cyberpirates. Some pirate gangs use submarines to attack and loot surface ships.


  • The LEGO Aquazone theme/line of sets from the 1990s.

Video Games

  • The Lillien Knights (a band of modern pirates) in the The King of Fighters universe.
  • There's a group of pirates like this in Xenogears. They start off in a sand submarine, though.


Western Animation

  • The Jonny Quest episode "Pirates from Below". They approach Dr. Quest's private island in a submarine and steal his submersible vehicle, the Underwater Prober. Later on when the Quest team escapes in the Prober the pirates attack in torpedo-firing one man subs.
  • Looney Tunes: The plot of Porky the Gob involves a hunt for a pirate sub, staffed by some outlandish characters, one of which has an outlandish uniform and an even more outlandish mustachio. Porky, left alone to guard his ship, manages to fend off an attack by the sub, capture it, and claim the reward.
  • Pirate Island, the base of pirate Sam Scurvy in the Doctor Dolittle animated series, was actually a disguised submarine that used to follow Dolittle's ship.
  • One episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had one.
  • A Villain of the Week of Yogis Gang tried to steal the ark so he could discard his damaged submarine.

Real Life

  • While not strictly piracy related, private submarines used for maritime crime became notoriously famous as of late, their chief function being smuggling. The U.S. Coast Guard has seized a few submarines with drug shipments aboard and several more under construction. The vessels themselves are custom-built to various standards of quality, from ramshackle fiberglass boats barely able to submerge to thirty meter steel hull true submarines with respectable seaworthiness.
    • There was also a plot by several drug lords to buy a former Russian submarine. Fortunately this was intercepted by US Customs agents.
  • During the Spanish Civil War, Italian submarines operating without identification—in the words of one historian, as pirates—sank several Soviet and other merchant ships attempting to bring weapons to the Loyalist side.
  1. Or so the latter claims