Singapore-led flagship apprehends pirates

Release No: UNRELEASED Feb. 22, 2010 PRINT | E-MAIL

MANAMA, Bahrain (Feb. 22, 2010) — Coalition warships from Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 have apprehended suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden. The Tanzanian-flagged MV Barakaale 1 came under attack whilst transiting through the region and the timely response by the Master in alerting vessels in the region by bridge-to-bridge radio communication enabled ships from CTF 151 to come to its aid.

A SH-60B Seahawk helicopter, from USS Farragut, was immediately dispatched to the MV Barakaale and subsequently gave chase to the skiff which withdrew its attack.

During the pirate attack on the MV Barakaale 1, the crew adopted defensive maneuvers which resulted in a suspected pirate falling overboard whilst attempting to board the vessel. The skiff rescued their accomplice and attempted to board MV Barakaale a second time, but they were again unsuccessful.

The helicopter intervened and the skiff attempted to speed away. After repeated warnings to the skiff, warning shots were fired by the helicopter across the bow of the skiff, which resulted in its coming to a stop. A boarding team from USS Farragut boarded the vessel and the eight suspected pirates were taken aboard the Farragut. The quick action by CTF 151 and the crew of the Barakaale prevented a successful pirate attack from occurring.

Commander, CTF 151, Rear Adm. Bernard Miranda, Republic of Singapore Navy, applauded the effort by all parties in coordinating the response to the incident. "The merchant community has clearly demonstrated that they can defend themselves by being the first line of defence against piracy by adopting the recommended 'best management practices'. A helicopter from USS Farragut was able to be dispatched and go to the aid of the MV Barakaale and subsequently gave chase of the skiff. The Master of the Barakaale did the right thing by not stopping his vessel and adopting non-kinetic measures like evasive maneuvers, to deter the pirates from getting on board," Miranda said.

CTF 151 is a multi national task force established in January 2009 to conduct counter piracy operations under a mission based mandate to actively deter, disrupt and suppress piracy in order to protect global maritime security and secure freedom of navigation for the benefit of all nations. It operates in the Gulf of Aden and the east coast of Somalia. CTF 151 is part of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). CMF patrols more than 2.5 million square miles of international waters to conduct both integrated and coordinated operations with a common purpose: to increase the security and prosperity of the region by working together for a better future. CMF is working to defeat terrorism, prevent piracy, reduce illegal trafficking of people and drugs, and promote the maritime environment as a safe place for mariners with legitimate business.

The CMF and CTF 151 has had a significant effect disrupting pirates in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin. Although the number of piracy attempts has increased over the past year, the number of successful attacks has been reduced by 40 percent over this same time.