UK

British ship seizes pirate vessel in Indian Ocean

  • 14 November 2010
  • From the section UK
Officers from RFA Fort Victoria boarding a ship
Image caption Officers from RFA Fort Victoria boarded the ship, which was found to contain ammunition

A pirate ship loaded with ammunition in the Indian Ocean has been seized by a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, says Nato.

The RFA Fort Victoria was patrolling the waters between the Somali coast and the Seychelles when it was alerted to a suspicious ship nearby.

Officers intercepted it and found 10 people on the deck, along with a pirate ladder to board merchant vessels.

The Fort Victoria is part of Nato's counter-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa, Operation Ocean Shield.

This is an international counter piracy effort which has been in place since December 2008.

When questioned by Nato officials, the pirates said they had been at sea for 45 days without food or engine power.

Their only source of power was a makeshift sail made from their boarding ladder.

They admitted to throwing their weapons overboard as the Fort Victoria approached, and ammunition was also found during a search.

The Fort Victoria crew confiscated the ship and suspicious goods from the pirates, who were later released on to the Somali coast.

Captain Rob Dorey, commanding officer of the Fort Victoria, said: "The combined actions of all onboard have saved merchant ships from being pirated and made the area just a little safer.

"In many ways the pirates were lucky that we found them as they would not have survived indefinitely - however, most importantly, we have removed one more pirate group from the Somali Basin and destroyed their whaler so it cannot be used again."

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