The Royal Naval warship HMS Montrose prevented a gang of suspected pirates from entering the Indian Ocean to attack merchant ships – the second counter-piracy success by the ship in two weeks.
The Plymouth-based warship, part of NATO’s counter-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa, was alerted on Wednesday to a pirate gang of ten men acting suspiciously in a small boat off the coast of Somalia near to a known pirate camp. Their boat, loaded with ladders and fuel drums, was towing two other smaller vessels that have been traditionally used for pirate attacks against ships HMS Montrose, which left HM Naval Base Devonport this summer on this NATO mission, launched her Lynx helicopter and a boat of Royal Marines and sailors to investigate. Once the suspected pirates spotted the helicopter and boarding team, four of the suspected pirates took one of the smaller boats and tried to flee to shore. The six remaining men stopped in the water and when the Lynx helicopter hovered overhead they tried to discard their ladders overboard.