Pirate Smackdown! (Grab Your Popcorn)

25 Jan

Courtesy of the US and Royal Navies.

It's hard to know what the Volvo Ocean Race suits were so worried about, when you have these guys on the scene. Check out this video of the RN Fort Victoria and the USS Carney forcefully putting a gang of Somali pirates out of business. (Note to pirates: a hail of bullets means "STOP")

I have to admit the the determination of the pirates in the face of machine gun fire and two warships is pretty

impressive. But this was never a fair fight, and the result was 13 pirates retired to the brig.

Here's a summary of the action (full details here):

In this latest success, Fort Victoria was operating with the American destroyer USS Carney, sent to investigate a dhow which was believed to be in the hands of pirates and had been sailing in Indian Ocean shipping lanes.

In a combined show of force, both RFA Fort Victoria and USS Carney manoeuvred towards the dhow, with the aim of encouraging her to comply with the counter piracy forces.

These actions should have been intimidating, given the size of the two military vessels – the American destroyer bristles with guns and missiles, while Fort Victoria is more than 650ft long, weighs 32,000 tonnes and carries a specially-trained commando boarding team – but the pirates were determined to carry on with their activities.

That led to more forceful action from Fort Vic, which sent her Lynx aloft with Royal Marine snipers in the back.

The helicopter gave numerous clear warnings to the suspects to stop – including firing flares and bursts of fire from the snipers across the bows of the pirate boat.

Despite these measures, the action group – a dhow and skiff – failed to comply with repeated instructions to stop and verify her intentions. That resulted in Royal Marines in speedboats approaching the vessel and successfully boarded it. The pirates surrendered as the commandos secured control and rounded them up on the forecastle.

Thirteen Somali pirates were found to be on board together with a selection of weapons. 

I'll sleep easier tonight knowing a tough naval tag team is out there. (via)

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