U.S. Marines Storm Hijacked Ship
United States Marines took control of a pirate held cargo ship off the Somali Coast on Thursday, capturing nine prisoners without firing a single shot.
The German owned MAGELLAN STAR was hijacked while en route from Spain to Vietnam. The 11-man crew had managed to lock themselves in a safe room where the pirates could not find them.
Early Thursday the hijacked ship was surrounded, two U.S. warships the DUBUQUE and the PRINCETON as well as a Turkish frigate from the anti-piracy task force were keeping watch. Navy helicopters reported the pirates were armed with AK-47s and refused to surrender.
Around 5 a.m. two dozen U.S. Marines ambushed the Magellan Star taking nine pirates into custody. Neither side fired any shots and no one was injured.
Marines used blow torches to cut a hole through the wall of the crews hiding place and Marine Capt. Alexander Martin announced through a bullhorn that the pirates had been captured.
The crew of mostly Filipinos, was not initially convinced that it was safe to come out of their hideaway. They retreated further into safe rooms of the ship after hearing the scuffle above.
It wasn’t until one Marine tore an American flag attached to his uniform off and shoved it through the hole that the crew realized they had been rescued.
U.S. officials are deciding what to do with the pirates.
The Washington Post, The Associated Press
Photo: U.S. Navy