Monday, September 15, 2008

Somalia: Sometimes the Good Guys Win

Reported as Canadian destroyer helps save Italian freighter from Somali pirates (there was a U.S. helo involved,too):
A Canadian warship has helped thwart a pirate attack on an Italian freighter in the Gulf of Aden.

HMCS Iroquois was off the Yemeni coast and 60 kilometres away from the MV Orsolina Bottiglieri when it was pursued by Somali pirates just after sunset on Sept. 3.

"We received a call on the radio and the captain declared that they were being followed," said Commodore Bob Davidson, the Canadian who commands a coalition task force assigned to protect ships in the Gulf of Aden from the growing number of Somali pirates who have been seizing ships and holding their cargoes and crews for ransom.

As the Halifax-based destroyer closed quickly on the Orsolina Bottiglieri, a helicopter from a nearby American warship was also sent to the scene. These actions caused the pirates to flee before they could board the freighter, which was carrying a load of barley from Ukraine to Iran.

"They were using small, fast boats that are pretty hard to find in the dark and we lost them, but we were able to help that fellow (the Italian ship) out," said Davidson, who transfers command of Task Force 150 to a Danish commodore on Monday in Bahrain. "The captain also helped himself by rigging fire houses, having all his lights on and by manoeuvring towards us."
More on HMCS Iroquis here.

And more on the increasing boldness of the pirates here.

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