UK Royal Navy Fights Piracy

Monday, November 17, 2008

The UK Royal Navy’s HMS Cumberland whilst conducting routine Maritime Security Operations in the Gulf of Aden on the 11 November had course to board a Yemeni flagged dhow, towing a skiff which they had reason to believe had been involved in an attack on the Danish-registered MV Powerful earlier in the day.

Various non-forcible methods had been used in an attempt to stop the dhow but they were unsuccessful. Sea boats were launched to circle the dhow in an attempt to encourage it to stop – these boats were fired at from the dhow and the crews returned fire in self defence. The dhow crew subsequently surrendered and a compliant boarding followed. It was then clear that two personnel, believed to be pirates, had been shot and killed.

A Yemeni national was also found injured and later died, despite receiving emergency treatment from the ship’s doctor. It is unclear whether his injuries were as a result of the firefight or a previous incident involving the pirates.

An MOD Spokesman said:
“Yesterday a crew from the frigate HMS Cumberland boarded a foreign flagged dhow, believed to be Yemeni, which had been positively identified in an earlier hijacking attempt on a Danish vessel.  Prior to boarding, boats launched by Cumberland to intercept the dhow were involved in an exchange of fire. Two foreign nationals, believed to be Somali pirates, were shot and killed in self defence. A Yemeni national was also found injured and later died, despite receiving emergency treatment from the ship’s doctor.  It is unclear whether his injuries were as a result of the firefight or a previous incident involving the pirates. As with all shooting incidents, a post shooting incident investigation is currently being conducted.”

(Source: UK Royal Navy)

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