NATO warship stops pirate attack group

Posted: 12/18/2011 in all marine news

Maritime Journal –

The British Royal Navy vessel RFA Fort Victoria intravened to stop a Spanish fishing vessel operating coming under attack from a group of pirate vessels recently.

The NATO warship was patrolling in an area approximately 420 nautical miles from the Seychelles and 350 nautical miles from the Somali coast last week, as part of NATO’s counter piracy task force 508, when it received information on the attack.

The ship’s Lynx helicopter was quickly despatched to investigate. Once at the scene, the helicopter identified two suspect vessels, a whaler and a skiff, in the vicinity of the fishing vessel.

The faster of the two, a skiff, sped away at over 25 knots as the helicopter gave chase. When the skiff ignored orders to stop, the Lynx helicopter fired warning shots ahead of the fleeing vessel.

It stopped, and the suspected pirates onboard were then transferred to Fort Victoria via boat. Fort Victoria’s Royal Marines boarding team then boarded the whaler and another skiff in the vicinity.

As a result of the day’s action, a total of seven suspected pirates were detained onboard Fort Victoria along with their whaler as evidence, with no injuries being sustained by either side.

Captain Gerry Northwood of the Royal Navy, embarked in Fort Victoria said, “It has been a long but rewarding operation with many complex aspects.

Operating under NATO tasking and in consultation with our headquarters in the Middle East and in the UK, we utilised a range of national and international assets to bring these events to a satisfactory conclusion.

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