U.S. Marines retake hijacked German-owned vessel off the coast of SomaliaSeptember 9th, 2010 - 8:51 pm ICT by BNO News
MANAMA, BAHRAIN (BNO NEWS) — U.S. Marines boarded and seized control of a German-owned commercial vessel off the coast of Somalia on early Thursday morning, the U.S. Navy said. The vessel had been hijacked by Somali pirates the day before.
The operation began at approximately 5 a.m. local time when 24 U.S. Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Maritime Raid Force aboard the USS Dubuque boarded the Antigua-Barbuda-flagged, German-owned vessel M/V Magellan Star as it was under pirate control.
It was a rare scene of military action against Somali pirates, who have captured scores of vessels in the past few years in order to collect ransom from their owners. Usually such hijackings end without casualties when ransom is finally paid, and a NATO official told BNO News that hostages are usually treated ‘well’ by their captors.
On April 8, 2009, a group of four Somali pirates hijacked the American-flagged MV Maersk Alabama southeast of the Somalia port city of Eyl. On April 12, 2009, the hijacking ended when U.S. forces stormed the vessel and freed all hostages. Three pirates were killed, while a fourth was taken to the United States to stand trial.
Thursday’s military action, however, ended without a single shot being fired and all nine pirates were taking into custody, pending further disposition. No injuries were reported among the crew, nor the U.S. Marines.
The Magellan Star was hijacked on Wednesday by the group of pirates. The Turkish frigate TCG Gökçeada was the first ship to arrive on the scene, responding to a distress call received from the Magellan Star. Two additional warships, both American, responded to provide support.
“United from the multi-national maritime force, under Combined Task Force 151, are actively engaged in anti-piracy operations,” said Turkish Navy Rear Adm. Sinan Ertugrul. “This regional problem, truly, has global impact and we are completely committed to bringing the disruptive acts of piracy to an end. We have full support of the international community and will continue to do everything possible to bring security to the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.”
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Tags: 15th marine expeditionary unit, bno, commercial vessel, eyl, frigate, global impact, manama bahrain, marine expeditionary unit, national maritime, nato official, rare scene, rear adm, regional problem, sinan, single shot, somali pirates, taking into custody, turkish navy, u s navy, uss dubuque