Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Monday, April 04, 2011

Somali Pirates: Dutch Marines and Navy Take Out Two Pirates, Capture 16

In a rescue effort involving an Iranian fishing boat, Dutch marines kill 2 pirates off Somali coast, capture 16 more:
Dutch Marines
Dutch marines killed two pirates and captured 16 others during an operation to free a hijacked Iranian fishing boat off the coast of Somalia, the Defense Ministry said Monday.

The deadly firefight marked the first time Dutch forces have killed suspected pirates while patrolling the Gulf of Aden as part of an international anti-piracy flotilla.

HNLMS Tromp (F803)
Marines from the frigate HMS Tromp opened fire on the pirates on the hijacked Iranian boat Sunday after they shot at two Dutch inflatable speedboats sent to investigate the fishing vessel, the ministry said.

Ten suspected pirates were captured as they tried to flee in a high-speed skiff and six more were detained on the fishing boat. The bodies of two suspected pirates killed in the firefight also were recovered on the vessel.
Press release (and photos) from Netherlands Ministry of Defense, here (Google translation with my corrections):
Dutch Marines approach dhow (NL MOD Photo)

Surrender of pirates  (in bow of dhow with hands on heads) (NL MOD Photo)

Dutch Marines overpower attempted escape effort by pirates (NL MOD photo)
Yesterday morning while approaching a suspect fishing boat two RHIB from HMS Tromp were fired upon. Marines on the RHIB's (Rigid-hulled inflatable boat) and others in the Tromp answered the fire. In a second approach 10 Somalis left the fishing boat with a fast skiff with the purpose of avoiding capture. After the Marines fired warning shots, the escape attempt stopped and the Somalis were captured. Some among them had injuries.
Cleaning the sea of pirates
After it appeared that the remaining Somalis on board the hijacked fishing boat (called a dhow) wanted to surrender, a boarding team from the Tromp boarded the suspect vessel.

In addition to the 16-member crew, there were two dead Somalis and 6 living Somalis. The two dead were likely killed by the gunfire. These six suspects, together with the other 10 are now being held. Evidence of piracy was found on board the hijacked dhow.

While searching the liberated dhow, Hr. Ms. Tromp was approached by a previously pirated merchant ship apparently seeking to free the dhow. With a number of shots from the Tromp across the bow of the merchant this effort by the pirates failed. The hijacked merchant vessel turned back toward the berth where she came from.
Well done.

UPDATE: Judging by the firepower evident on the Dutch side, the pirates who fired the shots at the RHIBS might have been a trifle over confident.

Revised title of post to reflect reality.

UPDATE2: Dead Pirates Buried at Sea:
The bodies of the two Somali pirates who were probably killed in a firefight with marines from the HNLMS Tromp have been buried at sea. The frigate’s captain took the decision after in consultation with the defence ministry in The Hague.

A spokesperson for the defence ministry said that the decision was motivated by a number of factors, including the high temperatures in the region and the possibility to return the bodies to next of kin. The bodies of the two Somalis were examined before being buried at sea.

1 comment:

  1. "The hijacked merchant vessel turned back toward the berth where she came from."

    I dont understand this, we allow pirated vessels to go free, as long as they do not have any hostages?