14 April 2009

Incident: Safmarine Asia attacked, pirates captured

The Liberian-flagged 21,887-tonne Safmarine Asia comes under pirate attack in the Indian Ocean taking rifle and rocket propelled grenade fire. (Scotsman, 04/15/09)

Pirates "swarmed" the vessel "in several small boats" according to a NATO spokesman. (Daily News, 04/14/09)

The health of the crew could not be ascertained, the spokesman said who noted that 10 pirates in three skiffs attacked the cargo ship. (Sky News 04/14/09)

A French Frigate, the NivĂ´se, sent a helicopter to the area in response to a distress call from the Safmarine Asia
and observed the skiffs retreating from the thwarted attack and returning to the mother ship, which was being used as a floating base about 460 miles off the Somali coast, according to a statement by the European Union naval force. The French forces then mounted their assault on the mother ship on Wednesday, taking 11 pirates prisoner. ( The French were acting under the European Union's naval Operation Atalanta. NYT, 04/15/09)
Update (04/16/09)
The 11 pirates captured in this operation will be tried in Kenya. (BBC, 04/16/09)