Friday, September 10, 2010

Dry Cargo Vessel Rescued From Somali Pirates By US Marines

Emphatic Victory as German Ship Freed
Shipping News Feature

SOMALIA – News just in as 24 US marines operating in the Gulf of Aden stormed a freight vessel today and, without firing a shot apparently, capturing the nine pirates and rescuing the eleven man crew. The German owned M V Magellan Star, an 8,000 tonne DWT general cargo and sometime container ship flagged in Antigua & Barbuda was en route from Spain to Singapore when she was intercepted transiting the Gulf.

When the pirates swarmed aboard the crew had already put out a distress call and retreated to a safe room in the engine compartment where they communicated with the ships agents by satellite telephone link after killing the engines. The pirates were confused when they used an emergency link to speak to the managing agents who apparently told them the crew were ‘on holiday’.

The pirates then apparently went on a wrecking spree presumably frustrated by their lack of success and inability to control the ship. Meanwhile a team from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Maritime Raid Force aboard the USS Dubuque, and heading for an joint exercise with Jordanian troops, rerouted, arriving near the captured vessel during the night. Before daybreak two dozen marines in fast RIB’s and supported by two helicopters, launched their own attack.

As the helicopters flooded the ship’s deck in light the troops scaled the hull of the Magellan Star, much as the pirates had, and succeeded in capturing the dazed and divided villains without having to shoot anyone. The problem came when the US marines first had to find the hidden crew, then convince them their ordeal was over.

Reportedly the crew only condescended to open up when the Americans cut an access hole and pushed through a stars and stripes uniform patch through the steel panel. The troops took a number of AK 47’s from the pirates and now have the problem of what to do with them. There have been similar successes before but mostly by foreign troops unattached to the EUNAVFOR anti piracy mission or pirates caught in the open.