US Navy: M/V Maersk-Alabama Repels Suspected Pirate Attack
Dispatches from the Front:
MANAMA, Bahrain, Nov. 18, 2009 -- Motor Vessel (M/V) Maersk-Alabama came under attack from suspected pirates today at 6:30 a.m. local time while transiting 560 nautical miles off the northeast coast of Somalia.
Four suspected pirates in a skiff came within 300 yards of M/V Maersk-Alabama and used small arms weapons in an attempt to board the ship.
The security team embarked aboard Maersk-Alabama responded to the attack by using evasive maneuvers, Long-Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs) and small arms fire, causing the suspected pirates to break off their attack.
"Due to Maersk Alabama following maritime industry's best-practices such as embarking security teams, the ship was able to prevent being successfully attacked by pirates," said Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. "This is a great example of how merchant mariners can take pro-active action to prevent being attacked and why we recommend that ships follow industry best practices if they're in high-risk areas."
No injuries or damage were reported aboard M/V Maersk-Alabama.
M/V Maersk-Alabama is proceeding to the ship's initial destination of Mombasa, Kenya.
Suspected Somali pirates briefly seized M/V Maersk-Alabama off the coast of Somalia on April 8 and held the ship's skipper, Capt. Richard Phillips, hostage for five days on a skiff. U.S. naval forces rescued Phillips on April 12, killing three suspected pirates and taking one into custody.
(Report by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan Schaeffer.)