Navy Rescue Hostages
Five hostages and their fishing vessel have been freed from Somali pirates. Their release followed the actions of a naval boarding party from HMS Cornwall.
According to the UK Ministry of Defence, all five hostages are from the Yemen and were discovered during a search of a sailing boat in the Indian Ocean. Apparently the men had been held captive for three months.
The men were held on a dhow used by Somali pirates as base from which launch attacks against ships transiting their area of operation.
HMS Cornwall received information about the dhow from a South Korean merchant vessel which became suspicious of its activities. Upon receiving the alert HMS Cornwall’s boarding party made preparations to investigate.
In addition to the captives, the frigate’s boarding party also found aboard the dhow several weapons, including rocket propelled grenades, which were destroyed. The dhow was also trailing three skiffs which were used to launch attacks against shipping.
HMS Cornwall is in the Indian Ocean to protect shipping routes from Somali pirate attacks as part of the Combined Maritime Force, a multi-national anti-piracy naval task force, comprised of several warships.
Image from video footage released by the UK Mod.
Mark Lowe, Thursday 17 March 2011