When the hunters become the hunted: Sea Shepherd outruns Somali pirates

The notorious Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s flagship, the Steve Irwin, ran the gauntlet of Somali pirates recently as the ship and crew transited the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea.

In an effort to fool the pirates the Steve Irwin used a camouflage paint job with a large “77” placed on the bow, even fooling a U.S. military Blackhawk helicopter that mistook the vessel for a Dutch warship.

Sea Shepherd was hoping that the pirates would make the same mistake, but three skiffs supposedly approached Steve Irwin and tailed the vessel for a few miles. The pirates appeared to be uncertain and backed off to check out a nearby container ship.

The Sea Shepherd’s Captain, Captain Lockhart MacLean, notified naval authorities in the area and warned of the container ship that the skiffs were approaching.

The skiffs eventually backed off and both ships.

Via Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Photo: The Steve Irwin with her new camo paint job.  Credit Michael Morrell via Sea Shepherd