UK Navy Intercepts Two Suspicious Vessels in Gulf of Aden

3 June 2009 (Last Updated June 3rd, 2009 18:30)

The UK Navy's frigate HMS Portland has discovered and seized two suspicious vessels foreclosing a possible pirate attack during anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. The frigate's crew identified, chased and boarded the suspicious vessels with the help of a Spanish maritime patrol

The UK Navy's frigate HMS Portland has discovered and seized two suspicious vessels foreclosing a possible pirate attack during anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

The frigate's crew identified, chased and boarded the suspicious vessels with the help of a Spanish maritime patrol aircraft.

The Type 23 frigate has been performing the operations as part of combined maritime forces (CMF) task force 151.

The seized vessels were equipped with extra barrels of fuel, grappling hooks and a cache of weapons including rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.

HMS Portlans's Lynx helicopter, armed with a machine gun, and snipers provided cover while the boarding team, which included Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel gained access to the craft.

The ten suspected pirates on the vessels were disarmed. The Portland also destroyed one of the vessels taking over all their weapons.

The CMF task force 151 executes anti-piracy operations throughout the CMF area, incorporating naval forces from Turkey, the UK, the US, South Korea, Singapore, Denmark and Japan.