The German-owned vessel Magellan Star was the latest ship to be seized in the Gulf of Aden yesterday. Ships have been attacked there by Somali pirates with increasing frequency over the past two years, the crews and the vessels held for ransom.
Today it turned out differently. About 5 a.m. local time, 24 U.S. Marines boarded the ship. The U.S. Navy says that nine pirates were captured. Not a shot was fired. None of the ships' crew or the Marines were hurt in the assault.
MC1 David McKee/Navy Visual News Service (NVNS)
File photo of Marines assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist1st Class David McKee/Released)
The U.S. has deployed a number of warships to the area to attempt to put a stop to the piracy, but this is the first time that U.S. Marines have boarded a ship in the ongoing security operations off the coast of Africa. A multinational force representing 25 countries has numerous ships involved in the operation.
The Marines are part of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and were on the USS Dubuque. Also involved in the operation was the USS Princeton, a guided missile cruiser. They both were called to the scene by a Turkish warship which was the first to respond to the distress call.