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6 pirates arrested by the US Navy then released


(B2) The anti-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) apprehended six suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden on March 20 after responding to a distress call from two merchant ships. It was about 4:30 a.m., according to the US Navy, when the Philippine-flagged MV Bison Express radioed saying it was being pursued by a small boat containing six armed pirates. The American ship immediately came to the rescue and located a boat matching the description given by the crew. A Sea Hawk SH 60B helicopter from anti-submarine squadron HSL 46 on board the Gettysburg flew over the area. After visiting the suspect boat by the US Coast Guard detachment, the six suspected pirates were transferred aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), which commands CTF 151. But “after assessment of the situation” according to the US Navy, “CTF 151 determined that there was insufficient evidence to bring the suspects to justice and released them by returning him to their boat”…

The guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) apprehended six suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden yesterday after responding to a distress call from two nearby merchant vessels. At approximately 4:30 am, the Philippines-flagged Motor Vessel Bison Express sent a distress call to all ships in the area reporting they were being pursued by a small skiff containing six heavily-armed suspected pirates. Gettysburg closed immediately on the motor vessel's location and intercepted a skiff matching the description given by the crew of the motor vessel. An SH-60B helicopter assigned to Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 46 embarked aboard Gettysburg, flew overhead the skiff and reported seeing objects being thrown overboard. A Gettysburg visit, board, search and seizure team (VBSS) subsequently conducted a consensual boarding along with members of US Coast Guard Legal Detachment (LEDET) 409 and apprehended the six suspected pirates. They were transferred onto the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), the flagship and afloat staging base (AFSB) for Combined Task Force (CTF) 151. After evaluating the situation, CTF 151 determined there was not sufficient evidence to hold the suspects for prosecution and released them back to their small boat.

(photo: US navy – SH60B helicopter during another intervention, in February 2009, against pirates)

(NGV)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).