November 18, 2009Bookmark and Share

Release #195-09

M/V Maersk-Alabama Repels Suspected Pirate Attack

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan Schaeffer

MANAMA, Bahrain - Motor Vessel (M/V) Maersk-Alabama came under attack from suspected pirates today at 6:30 a.m. local time while transiting 560 nautical miles off the northeast coast of Somalia.

Four suspected pirates in a skiff came within 300 yards of M/V Maersk-Alabama and used small arms weapons in an attempt to board the ship.

The security team embarked aboard Maersk-Alabama responded to the attack by using evasive maneuvers, Long-Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs) and small arms fire, causing the suspected pirates to break off their attack.

"Due to Maersk Alabama following maritime industry's best-practices such as embarking security teams, the ship was able to prevent being successfully attacked by pirates," said Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. "This is a great example of how merchant mariners can take pro-active action to prevent being attacked and why we recommend that ships follow industry best practices if they're in high-risk areas."

No injuries or damage were reported aboard M/V Maersk-Alabama.

M/V Maersk-Alabama is proceeding to the ship's initial destination of Mombasa, Kenya.

Suspected Somali pirates briefly seized M/V Maersk-Alabama off the coast of Somalia on April 8 and held the ship's skipper, Capt. Richard Phillips, hostage for five days on a skiff. U.S. naval forces rescued Phillips on April 12, killing three suspected pirates and taking one into custody.


For further questions, please contact Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command
Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs Office at 011-973-1785-4027.
For Naval Support Activity Bahrain at 11-973-1785-4000.
This is an Official U.S. Navy Web Site. GILS# 002176
FOIA | Please read this Privacy policy.