Royal navy thwarts pirate attack

16/01/2012

A Royal Fleet Auxiliary supply ship (RFA), Fort Victoria, thwarted an attempt by Somali pirates to attack cargo ships in the Indian Ocean last Tuesday. The pirates hoped to sail a hijacked Greek-owned chemical tanker from the Somali coast into the Gulf of Aden, and use it as a mother ship to launch attacks on other vessels. The tanker, Liquid Velvet, has been under Somali pirate control since last November.

The Royal Navy force was able to cut off the Somali pirate’s progress 90 miles (145km) from the coastline. Fort Victoria repeatedly circled the tanker to force her back to Somalia and used a Lynx helicopter a deterrent and to assess the situation on board. Fort Victoria then stayed in the area to ensure the pirates did not attempt to sail out again. Captain Gerry Northwood, Royal Navy, Commander of the UK's Counter-Piracy Task Force told reporters: "We have been putting the pirates under a lot of pressure by taking down their dhow action groups so they are starting to get desperate… this was a very successful operation - if we had not intercepted Liquid Velvet when we had, then these pirates would have posed a very real threat to international shipping.”
 

For more on Maritime security, see the SDA's independent report here