Vikings Sink Somali Pirate Ship

Taken from The Times, December 5, 2008

Danish navy blows up 'pirate' ship

Danish forces have scuppered a vessel belonging to Somali pirates after rescuing its crew in a storm.

The Danish navy said today that it responded last night to a distress signal from the vessel which was floundering in heavy seas in the Gulf of Aden off the Somali coast.

The Naval Operational Command said its forces were bound by international law to help the men. They recovered a number of weapons onboard the vessel, which was similar to those used in pirate attacks on merchant ships.

The Danish officers – who were patrolling the waters in a warship as part of a Nato task force - shot up the vessel after it had been cleared of all those aboard, setting off a series of loud explosions before it sank.

“Due to the weather, it was not possible to take the troubled ship in tow and it was destroyed in the interest of shipping safety,” the navy said in a statement.

The rescued men were later handed into the authorities in Yemen.

Pirates have attacked about 100 ships off the Somali coast this year and collected about $30 million in ransoms.

The officers were on board the Danish warship HDMS Absalon which is part of a task force deployed in the Gulf of Aden to combat the increasing problem of piracy.

They were under instruction to gather biometric data including fingerprints and confiscated any weapons on board the pirate boat.

Pirates are currently holding 14 ships, along with more than 250 crew members, according to maritime officials.

Bandits have become increasingly bold in the scale of their attacks in the Gulf of Aden. Among the captured vessels is Ukraine’s MV Faina with a cargo of tanks.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, and pirates have taken advantage of the country's lawlessness to launch attacks on foreign shipping from the Somali coast.
Well done the Kongelige Danske Marine. Shame that they had to pick up the crew though. Judging by the video looks as though someone had fun with the .50 cal and a box full of tracer. :)
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