Saturday, November 22, 2008

NATO Warship Prevents Possible Pirate Attack

Pictured here in this undated file photo is the Italian Navy destroyer Luigi Durand de la Penne. (NATO photo.)

News in Balance:

GULF OF ADEN, Nov. 22, 2008 -- On Saturday, November 15 at 1630 (local time) the Italian Navy destroyer Luigi Durand de la Penne, flagship of NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 and of the anti-piracy Operation Allied Provider, prevented a likely attack against the Panama flagged merchant vessel Kirti by two skiffs that were maneuvering on a piracy attack pattern.

The Italian destroyer, while patrolling the Gulf of Aden, received a distress call from the merchant vessel, which was steaming towards Suez. The master reported seeing skiffs attempting to approach its vessel at high speed.

At that time the Durand de la Penne was at a distance of 20 nautical miles from the Kirti: the ship's helicopter was immediately scrambled and sent over the merchant vessel. As soon as the suspected pirates noticed the Italian helicopter the skiffs changed their course and the Kirti was able to continue her trip.

(Report from a NATO news release.)

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