British Warship Wards Off Pirate Attack In Red Sea

The bulk carrier MV CARAVOS HORIZON was attacked and boarded by pirates in the Red Sea yesterday. Forces brought in from the Royal Navy frigate HMS MONMOUTH were able to clear the ship of the pirates.

The 63,000 ts ship, registered in Malta, was on a southerly course in the Red Sea, when it was boarded by six armed pirates. The crew of 24 sought shelter in the ship’s citadel and managed to send a call for help from there. The citadel is a secure room where the crew of an attacked ship can hide in case the vessel is being boarded. The crew then locks itself in and waits for outside help to arrive.

HMS MONMOUTH  immediately set an intercept course after the call was received by the the Combined Maritime Forces and dispatched its Lynx helicopter from about 90 kilometers distance to assess the situation. An MH-60S from the nearby dock landing ship USS BATAAN provided assistance.

The CARAVOS HORIZON was then boarded by Royal Marine Commandos and a Royal Navy Boarding Team brought in by helicopter and boat. The Marines and sailors were able to clear the ship and after it was certain that the pirates had fled, the ship’s crew was freed from the citadel.

The CARAVOS HORIZON continued its voyage after the incident.

Another pirate attack happened today: another merchant ship was attacked by two  seven pirates in two skiffs southwest of Al Hudaydah in Yemen. The outcome of this event is still unknown.

(Sources: Combined Maritime Forces, NATO Shipping Centre; 12 August 2011)


About Johann Brandstätter

Photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Bulgaria, working mainly in the Balkans and the Middle East. Conflicts & crises, social and environmental issues, defense & military, travel, transportation.
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