Thai Navy disrupts Somali pirate attack on Liberian-flagged vessel

November 1st, 2010 - 11:12 pm ICT by BNO News  

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (BNO NEWS) — A Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) naval vessel was able to disrupt a Somali pirate attack on a Liberian-flagged vessel last Thursday, CMF said on Monday.

The Liberian-flagged merchant vessel MV Hellespont Protector was transiting the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) last Thursday when it was attacked by suspected pirates, who fired at the vessel with AK47 assault rifles.

HTMS Similan, from the Royal Thai Navy, was nearby to assist as the CMF continues to have a large naval coalition presence within the region. The Fusu-class replenishment ship, currently supporting Combined Task Force 151, immediately launched its helicopter to investigate the pirate skiff.

With the MV Hellespont Protector increasing its speed, the suspected pirates were unable to catch the merchant vessel and aborted their attack, dropping their weapons into the water in an attempt to escape.

Within minutes, HTMS Similan’s boarding team apprehended the skiff and, after taking records, the skiff was forced back to the Somali coast. A warning of suspected pirate activity was issued to fishing boats and commercial ships in the region.

“The MV Hellespont Protector did the right thing by increasing its speed, as stated in the counter-piracy Best Management Practices,” Commander Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151), Turkish Rear Admiral Sinan Ertugrul stated.

“HTMS Similan proved yet again that coalition forces in the region are ready and fully capable to respond to emergency situations. We remain in the area as a genuine and legitimate force for good, providing maritime security to all lawful and legitimate seafarers,” Eregrul added.

CTF-151 was established in January 2009 as a multi-national counter-piracy task force. In conjunction with NATO and European Union Naval Force, ships from CTF-151 patrol in the Somali Basin and the IRTC in the Gulf of Aden.

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