Update:

Release via EU NAVFOR:

On the early morning of 18 November 2009, 350 nautical miles east from the Somali coast, pirates attacked MV Maersk Alabama, a US flagged, Danish owned, 155 meter long, Container ship.

Pirates fired automatic weapons on MV Maersk Alabama who responded with fire from an embarked Vessel Protection Detachment. The crew managed to repel the attack and no casualties were reported. The vessel was previously hijacked in April 2009.

An EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft from Djibouti was tasked to investigate the situation and the closest EU NAVFOR naval vessel was tasked to search for the pirate attack group and neutralise the area.

The Maritime Patrol Aircraft stationed in Djibouti takes part in the EU NAVFOR mission Operation ATALANTA. The main tasks of Operation ATALANTA are to escort merchant vessels carrying food of the ‘World Food Program’ (WFP), the protection of vulnerable ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy.

More details at CNN: Pirates foiled in their second attack on Maersk Alabama cargo ship

Original Post

The following is posted by Fred Fry:

The news story out this morning is that the US-Flag MAERSK ALABAMA has been attacked again by pirates. Surely that is news in itself. However, possibly the bigger story is news that the Maersk vessel had armed guards onboard who repelled the attackers.

Maersk Alabama attacked again – MAERSK Alabama evaded a pirate attack off the Somali Coast today, seven months after it was hijacked in nearby waters.

Pirates fired on the 1,098teu box ship with automatic weapons, but guards on the US-flagged ship returned fire and repelled the attack, a statement from EU NAVFOR said. There were no casualties.

An EU NAVFOR naval vessel is searching for the attackers.

During April’s hijacking, Maersk Alabama’s captain was held hostage before he was freed in a commando assault. Three pirates were killed in the operation.

In another incident near Somalia today, pirates have eluded a Spanish military fusillade and swum to freedom.

The pirates had held the Alakrana tuna trawler hostage for 47 days. They escaped to shore after turning over the 36 seafarer hostages, Spain’s defence ministry said.

Helicopters and other forces chased the last group of pirates to leave the trawler. At least one pirate craft was hit by fire but no casualties were reported, said the ministry of defence.

The trawler was freed yesterday after the reported payment of a $4M ransom. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)

At least in this case, having armed guards onboard did not escalate the attack. It ended it.

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