Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Friday, April 15, 2011

Somali Pirates: Australian Navy Frees Hostages, "Catch and Releases" Pirates

HMAS Stuart (RAN photo)
Reported as Australian sailors rescue Somali pirates' hostages:
HMAS Stuart has interdicted a Yemeni-flagged dhow and rescued three crew members who were being held hostage by Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa.

The interdiction occurred on the morning of Monday 11th April 2011 after HMAS Stuart had been monitoring suspected pirate activity in the area for several hours.

The Chief Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Mark Evans, said he was very pleased with the way HMAS Stuart’s crew handled a difficult and dangerous mission.

“No shots were fired by either HMAS Stuart or the pirates during the interdiction and no threats were made by the pirates to harm the Yemeni crew once they saw the boarding party rapidly secure the dhow,” Lieutenant General Evans said.

“Stuart’s boarding party did extremely well in maintaining the safety of the dhow’s crew and ensuring a potentially challenging situation did not escalate.”

Assies checking out the dhow (RAN photo)
The Al Shahar 75 was attacked and seized by pirates about 20 days ago.

Fifteen Somali pirates surrendered to HMAS Stuart’s boarding party as they approached the Al Shahar 75.

During a search of the dhow, the boarding party located 11 AK-47 assault rifles with 16 magazines, a large quantity of small arms ammunition and a Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher with grenade. The weapons were catalogued and then disposed over-board.

The unarmed pirates were released in their skiff after being provided with adequate water, food, fuel and communication equipment to make the nearest land-fall off the Somalia coast.

The Yemeni vessel was safely escorted from the area by HMAS Stuart.
UPDATE: Adjusted the headline to reflect reality.


  1. Anonymous7:25 PM

    Releasing pirates is sending the wrong signal to these criminals. Hey if rowing across the Indian ocean is okay for Roz Savage, from London, why isn't it good enough for pirates (without food, fuel, water, or communication equipment, of course)? Do we have to wait until these pirates kill somone before they are brought to justice?

  2. Anonymous8:02 PM

    This is the second time the Australian Navy captured Somali pirates. In both instances, these scum bags have surrendered without firing a shot. They only surrendered because they knew they could never win the fight.
    The US and South Korean Navy have a shoot first, and search for weapons later policy which all countries should adopt. It's the best way to clean up the seas.