Somalia pirates show poor judgement, mistake navy destroyer for commercial vessel

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.

The Dutch Navy destroyer HNLMS Tromp

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.

marines capture pirates
Dutch Marines capture pirates
Pirate skiffs
Pirate skiffs and Royal Netherlands Marines

The marines also found and captured the pirates’ “mother ship”. A very impressive vessel, don’t you think?

pirate mother ship
The pirates' "mother ship"

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.

pirate weapons
Some of the weapons seized from the pirates.

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.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+