A group of Somali pirates has been captured after attacking a French navy ship by mistake, apparently thinking it was a harmless cargo vessel.It's an easy mistake to make from a small boat.
French military spokesman Admiral Christophe Prazuck said the pirates attacked in skiffs late at night some 500km (310 miles) off the Somali coast.
But the command and supply ship, the Somme, repelled the attack and chased the pirates, capturing five of them.
Admiral Prazuck told French TV station La Chaine Info the pirates seemed to be surprised that the navy ship fought back.
"Once they realised they were facing a ship that was responding and was heading towards them, they stopped shooting and attempted to flee," he said.
"The Somme gave chase and intercepted one of the pirates' boats. All the weapons had apparently been tossed into the sea and the suspected pirates are now being held on board the Somme."
Could happen to anyone - anyone who was out pirating at night in a small boat...
UPDATE: Belgians go pirate fishing:
On the morning of 3 Oct, whilst conducting a patrol in the Gulf of Aden, EU NAVFOR Belgian warship Louise-Marie intercepted a distress call from a merchant vessel transiting in the Gulf of Aden. The merchant vessel reported a skiff, a small boat regularly used by pirates, approaching to 300 meters.No doubt a warning ticket was issued.
The helicopter of EUNAVFOR Belgian Warship Louise-Marie was immediately launched to investigate and it arrived at the scene, the skiff took off at speed from the merchant vessel. Due to the suspicious behavior of the skiff the EUNAVFOR Belgian warship Louise-Marie was ordered to board the skiff.
The skiff, took off at great speed and refused to stop when ordered to do so by Louise-Marie. The helicopter of the Louise-Marie fired two bursts of warning shots with their on-board machine gun after which the skiff stopped and was subsequently boarded for a thorough search.
Although no weapons or ladders were found, 13 fuel drums were discovered. The skiff’s crew stated that they were fisherman but no fishing material was found. They were warned about high speed approaches to merchant vessels and then released to continue on their way.