The UK Royal Navy’s Type 22 frigate HMS Chatham has destroyed two pirate boats in the Somali Basin after capturing a group of suspected pirates off the coast of Tanzania.

The frigate, deployed in the region as NATO‘s counter-piracy flagship, accomplished the mission during a coordinated search with an EU Naval Force maritime patrol aircraft.

A team of Royal Marines boarded the larger pirate vessel, which was travelling with ten Somalis and a large amount of fuel.

The two attack boats were separated from the larger craft by the Royal Marines team while the frigate with its onboard Lynx helicopter destroyed the boats using combined firepower.

The Nato Task Force in the region consists of five ships, including the British frigate HMS Chatham, US destroyer USS Cole, Turkish frigate TCG Gelibolu, HS Limnos from Greece as well as the Italian frigate ITS Scirocco.

At sea, Nato is working in close collaboration with the EU Maritime Force and the Combined Maritime Force, as well as other navies including China, Japan, India and Russia.

Nato has been contributing to the international counter-piracy effort off the Horn of Africa since December 2008.