The crew of the Supertanker ‘Brillante Virtuoso’, that was set on fire during a pirate attack off the coast of Yemen yesterday, is safe and unharmed on board the US cruiser USS Philippine Sea.
An officer on board the USS Philippine Sea confirmed in an e-mail that the cruiser has rescued 25 seamen off a life raft and one directly off the burning ‘Brillante Virtuoso’. According to LTJG Andrew P. Learned the “crew was shaken, but otherwise unharmed. Everybody is accounted for.” Lieutenant Learned also said, that the US government is making arrangements with the owners of the tanker regarding what will be done with ship and crew.
The guided missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) is an AEGIS-Class cruiser with home port Mayport, Florida. The cruiser is part of the US 5th Fleet and as such participates in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Oman.
(Sources: Middle East & Balkans News own research; 7 July 2011)