Ethiopian-flagged vessel thwarts pirate attack.
An Ethiopian-flagged vessel fought off a pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden earlier this week, the multi-national anti-piracy task force said Thursday. The MV Andinet, part of the Ethiopian Shipping Line, was approached by two pirate skiffs Monday, with one of them coming close enough to fire automatic weapons in an attempt to force the ship to stop, the task force said in a statement.
But the vessel's crew used anti-piracy measures -- including firing flares in the air and utilizing fire hoses, as well as "evasive maneuvering" -- to repel the pirates, Combined Maritime Forces said.
After a distress call was sent out, the USS Farragut, a U.S. Navy destroyer assigned to the task force, deployed her SH-80 helicopter to follow the skiffs, and the USS Porter gave chase as well, the task force said.
"A boarding team from the USS Farragut subsequently stopped and boarded the pirate skiffs, but only an empty magazine and used rounds were found on board."
"The MV Andinet once against demonstrated that even basic preventive measures can save a crew from a successful pirate attack," said Commodore Tim Lowe of Britain's Royal Navy, deputy commander of the Combined Maritime Forces.
"Although there is (a) significant international naval presence in the Gulf of Aden, these warships cannot be everywhere and may not always be close at hand to prevent an attack."
The incident occurred about 145 miles east of Aden, Yemen.
The task force advocates that commercial and civilian vessels in the region implement anti-piracy measures such as maintaining a 24-hour lookout, traveling in convoys and using high-intensity lighting.