The crew of a small U.S.-flag Maersk container ship repelled a pirate attack in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday, the company confirmed.
The Maersk Texas, owned by A.P. Moller-Maersk’s U.S. subsidiary, Maersk Line Ltd., had just left the Strait of Hormuz and was on its way back to the U.S. when it was passing through the Gulf of Oman, northeast of the Arab Emirates port of Fujairah.
"Numerous skiffs with armed men in each boat quickly closed on Maersk Texas," Maersk Line Ltd. said.
"Maersk Texas activated defensive measures per the U.S. Coast Guard-approved vessel security plan," the carrier said. "Despite clear warning signals, the skiffs continued their direct line toward Maersk Texas."
The pirates continued to approach the vessel and then fired upon it, after which a security team aboard the ship returned fire in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard rules of engagement, the company said. The pirates shot back and a firefight ensued.
The Texas eventually repelled the pirates, and all crewmembers are safe, according to Maersk. The ship is continuing with its scheduled voyage back to its home port of Norfolk, Va., the company said.
The Maersk Texas, which is 480 feet long, has a capacity of 964 20-foot equivalent units, including 50 reefer slots.