British forces rescue hijacked ship
Tuesday 11 October 2011
British forces freed an Italian cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates after retrieving a message in a bottle tossed by hostages from a porthole.
The message inside confirmed that the crew was safely sealed inside an armoured area.
All 23 crew members of the Montecristo cargo ship were brought to safety and the 11 pirates arrested.
The crew, seven Italians, six Ukrainians and 10 Indians, locked themselves inside an armoured area of the vessel when the pirates boarded the ship, Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said. Safe from the pirates' threats, the crew continued to navigate the ship.
"The criminals managed to cut off all means of communication, but the 'prisoners' tossed a bottle with a message through a porthole explaining the situation," Mr La Russa told a news conference.
At that point, other ships in the area were aware that the Italian vessel had been boarded by pirates. But the message in the bottle gave an important signal the crew of the Italian ship were out of harm's way and that a rescue operation could be launched without risking injury.
"Rubber boats circled the Montecristo, while a helicopter hovered above. The pirates surrendered right away, some throwing their weapons in the sea, and were arrested," he said.
The pirates attacked the ship on Monday 620 miles off Somalia as the crew was hauling scrap iron to Vietnam on a journey that had begun on September 20 in Liverpool.
The operation was carried out by two ships - one Royal Navy and one American.
Britain's Defence Ministry said the RFA Fort Victoria "responded to calls to assist a pirated Italian merchant ship, the MV Montecristo, along with an American Navy frigate." Because of the presence of warships, the pirates on board surrendered without force, it said.
Pirates flourish off largely lawless Somalia by attacking passing ships, taking hostages and demanding ransoms to free them and the vessels.
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
- 5 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dies: Wrestling legend dies aged 61, according to reports
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...