The Dutch navy has disarmed 12 Somalia pirates after they mistook the destroyer HNLMS Tromp for a commercial vessel. When a German patrol plane detected the location of the pirates, the Tromp was dispatched to their location. The two pirate skiffs saw the destroyer, and thinking it was a commercial vessel moved toward it at full speed.
As the pirates got close to the Tromp, their mistake dawned on them and they made a U-turn and sped away. The Tromp launched a Lynx helicopter and two rigid hull inflatable boats full of Royal Netherlands Marines toward the skiffs. The marines fired some rounds at the skiffs which attempted to evade. Then the crew on the Tromp fired their five-inch gun across the bow of the skiffs, getting their attention.
The pirates, showing a little more intelligence than they had previously, surrendered.
The marines also found and captured the pirates’ “mother ship”. A very impressive vessel, don’t you think?
On the boats, the Marines found six AK-47 automatic weapons, a rocket launcher, ladders for boarding ships, and satellite phones, all of which were seized or dumped overboard.
After questioning, the Marines released the pirates in the mother ship at an accessible distance from the Somali coast. The skiffs were destroyed.
Earlier this month, another group of pirates mistook the Tromp for a freighter and they suffered a similar fate.