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28 Apr, 2009 11:14

Russian tanker defeats Somali pirates with water cannons

Somali pirates that attempted to board the Russian tanker ‘NS Commander’ heading to Singapore were successfully repelled by the crew, informs Russian Maritime Bulletin ‘Sovfrakht’.

Three boats with pirates armed with machineguns and grenade launchers approached the Russian tanker on Monday about 120 miles east of the Yemeni Island of Sokotra in the Indian Ocean.

The ship with the crew of 23 Russian citizens was fired upon. When the pirates tried to hijack the ship they were met with water cannons. The crew also increased their speed and with constant maneuvering managed to shake off their pursuers.

No one from the NS Commander’s crew was injured. The ship, belonging to Russian company Novoship and flying the flag of Liberia, is on its way to Singapore.

The incident was reported to the Russian large antisubmarine battleship Admiral Panteleev that recently arrived in the Gulf of Aden to counteract pirates and protect commercial vessels in the surrounding waters.

The Admiral Panteleev has released from duty another Russian warship, the Admiral Vinogradov along with escort ships that were on watch since January 2, 2009, and have already successfully returned to Vladivostok.

The battleship, with three technical escort ships and a marines detachment onboard, is expected to spend the next two months securing the passage of merchant ships convoys in the so-called ‘safety corridor’.

Russia began patrolling the Gulf of Aden water area in September 2008 after the UN made it legitimate to fight pirates in the water area of the Gulf of Aden.

Besides Russian battleships, there are military convoys from the US, the EU, India, China, Japan and South Korea patrolling the area.