Danish Special Forces Respond, Thwart Attempted Piracy Attack by Somalis

Danish special forces stormed the Slovenian-owned ship Ariella and rescued the 25-strong crew Friday in the first known case of Western forces intervening during an attack by Somali pirates.

The captain of a cargo ship named the Ariella sent out a mayday call, saying a skiff carrying six armed pirates was approaching his vessel 100 miles (160km) north of the Somali coast in the Gulf of Aden. The ship was ringed by barbed wire, giving the crew time to lock themselves in a safe room with a VHF radio.

The Indian naval ship, Tabar, a French EUI maritime patrol aircraft, and the Danish warship Absalon, which was 10 miles away, responded to the call for help.

The pirates fled as about 10 Danish special forces boarded the Ariella. A Russian naval ship, the Neustrashimyy, picked up a second suspect skiff carrying seven pirates.

The Ariella was traveling inside a 12-mile wide Internationally Recognized Transit Corridor that traverses 500 miles of the Gulf of Aden. Hijackings have decreased since the corridor was established. Hijackings have increased in the Indian Ocean outside of the corridor.

SOURCE: TIMESONLINE Danish special forces storm cargo ship to thwart Somali pirate attack