NEWS | April 6, 2010

Navy captures pirates, rescues crew members

By MC2 Rachel McMarr , Combined Task Force 151

A boarding party from the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul inspect the Indian-flagged Faize Osamani. The dhow was a suspected pirate mothership accused of firing small arms and rocket-propelled grenades at the MV Rising Sun.

A boarding party from the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul inspect the Indian-flagged Faize Osamani. The dhow was a suspected pirate mothership accused of firing small arms and

MANAMA, Bahrain (April 6, 2010) — USS McFaul captured 10 suspected pirates and rescued eight crew members from the pirated Indian cargo dhow Faize Osamani,  near Salalah, Oman, April 5 after the dhow and three skiffs attempted to attack the Motor Vessel (M/V) Rising Sun the same day.

M/V Rising Sun sent a distress call the morning of April 5 to alert maritime forces that pirate skiffs had pulled alongside and were firing small arms and rocket propelled grenades at their vessel. The Omani warship Al Sharquiyah (B 11) and United States destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74)  immediately responded.

As the naval vessels were in transit, M/V Rising Sun used the industry recommended "best management practices"  of increasing speed, evasive maneuvers and spraying potential attackers with fire hoses to thwart the pirate attack as the navies were in transit. These efforts were rewarded when the pirate skiffs broke off their attack and returned to their pirated mother ship, the Faize Osamani.

Arriving first to the last known location of the pirated mothership was the Omani vessel. As the Omani ship approached, the nine hostage sailors from Faize Osamani jumped into the ocean in an attempt to get away from the dangerous pirates and toward their rescuer. The Oman Navy was able to rescue eight of these crewmembers,  however, one crew member drowned. Despite the loss of their hostages, the pirates remained aboard the Faize Osamani.

As the Omani ship rendered assistance to the escaped hostages, USS McFaul arrived on scene. With two warships now operating in close proximity, the pirates agreed to a compliant boarding. McFaul approached the dhow and directed the suspected pirates to surrender by gathering on the bow with their hands in the air, which they quickly complied with but not before being seen throwing their weapons overboard. Two boarding teams from McFaul deployed in rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB), boarded the dhow and took control of the Faize Osamani.

The surviving sailors of the dhow Faize Osamani have been returned to their vessel,  while their lost shipmate has been transported to shore by the Omani warship. The suspected pirates were subsequently transferred to the United States destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) in anticipation of further transfer to a state willing to accept the pirates for

Successful transit of the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin rests in the hands of those who sail the waters. An average of more than 20 ships from the Combined Maritime Forces, EUNAVFOR and NATO, and other independent nations work together every day to patrol the high risk areas and provide the maximum safety available for those sailing through
these pirate-laden waters. However, it is incumbent upon owners and shipping companies to provide the best available protection for their ships by utilizing the shipping industry's 'best management practices' as a proven means to minimizing the risk of a successful piracy attack.

USS McFaul is attached to the USS Dwight D.  Eisenhower (CVN 69) Carrier Strike Group working in support of maritime security operations  in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. The mission of the McFaul is to conduct prompt, sustained combat operations at sea in support of U.S. national policy. The ships are equipped to operate independently or as part of a carrier strike group or expeditionary strike group.