Seven months after the dramatic Navy rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips and the crew of the Maersk Alabama, pirates again attempted, unsuccessfully this time, to attack the ship off the northeast coast of Somalia, the Navy said.
Four pirates in a skiff came within 300 yards of the Maersk Alabama and used small-arms fire to try to board the U.S.-flag ship last week.
The security team aboard the Maersk Alabama responded by employing evasive maneuvers, long-range acoustical devices and their own small-arms fire, causing the pirates to break off their attack, according to an account provided by the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command of the U.S. Fifth Fleet combined maritime forces.
“Due to Maersk Alabama following maritime industry’s best practices, such as embarking security teams, the ship was able to prevent being successfully attacked by pirates,” said Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. “This is a great example of how merchant mariners can take proactive action to prevent being attacked and why we recommend that ships follow industry best practices if they’re in high-risk areas.”
No injuries or damage were reported aboard the Maersk Alabama, which is proceeding to its destination of Mombasa, Kenya, where it was also heading last spring with a cargo of U.S. relief supplies when it was attacked.
The Maersk Alabama, is operated by LMS Shipmanagement under charter hire to Maersk Inc. the U.S. subsidiary of Denmark’s Maersk Line. LMS Shipmangement is a subsidiary of International Shipholding and also operates its Waterman Steamship fleet.