US Navy Prevents Hijacking Philippine Bulk Carrier in Arabian Sea
Pirates were unable to successfully hijack a bulk carrier in the Arabian Sea, after the U.S. Navy responded to a distress call, according to a feature on the Navy Times.
The aircraft carrier Enterprise and the cruiser Leyte Gulf received a distress call at 10:30 a.m. local time, from Falcon Trader II, a merchant flying the Philippine flag. The merchant’s crew of 20 fled to a safe room, which was equipped with radios, ship control stations, food, and water, as pirates boarded the vessel. The crew made a second call from the safe room, where they declared that the pirates have not taken any hostages.
A press release revealed that two pirates jumped off the bow, after a SH-60F helicopter from Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 11 fired warning shots.
Lt. Joshua Overn, a helicopter pilot, said: “We could definitely see the muzzle flashes from their AK-47s, but we weren’t hit… Theanti-piracy training we had received kicked in, and everyone conducted themselves with poise and professionalism.”
The pirates set off towards their mother ship, with the SH-60F in pursuit.
The warships, on the other hand, moved closer to the Falcon Trader II. The Navy maintained contact with the merchant crew, who all remained in the safe room, through a crew member of the Leyte Gulf who spoke Tagalog, a dialect in the Philippines.
Rear Adm. Terry Kraft, commander of the Enterprise’s strike group, shared: “This is a great example of the teamwork inherent in a carrier strike group… We were lucky to be on scene when the attack occurred, and everyone did their jobs well.”
Source: usnavyseals,March 28, 2011;