09 September 2010

US Marines Seize Pirate-Captured Vessel

Some Somalian pirates had an unpleasant surprise today when US Marines from the USS Dubuque paid them a visit. Semper Fi!
U.S. Marines boarded and seized control Thursday of a German-owned vessel that had been captured by pirates the day before off the coast of Somalia, the U.S. Fifth Fleet said.

The incident marks the first time U.S. military forces off Somalia have staged an action to board a commercial vessel where pirates were on board with hostages, according to a U.S. Navy spokesman, who was not authorized to speak publicly but had direct knowledge of the incident.

The action came about because the highly specialized Marine raiding force -- the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Maritime Raid Force -- was nearby, the spokesman said.

Twenty-four U.S. Marines from the force, which was aboard the USS Dubuque and operating under the multinational anti-piracy combined task force, boarded the M/V Magellan Star at about 5 a.m. local time (10 p.m. ET), the Fifth Fleet said in a statement.

"This successful mission by combined maritime forces secured the safety of the ship's crew and returned control of the ship to the civilian mariners," the statement said.

No shots were fired, the Navy spokesman said, and there were no injuries. The pirates surrendered "within minutes."

The mission was approved by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the spokesman said, and the military had permission from the ship's owners to board it.

Members of the ship's crew had locked themselves in a safe room, so the military felt it was a good time to board the ship, the spokesman said.

Nine pirates were in task force custody "pending further disposition," the Fifth Fleet said.

By: Shelldrake

No comments: