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Pirate attack on VLCC in Strait of Hormuz thwarted

Pirate attack on VLCC in Strait of Hormuz thwarted
A pirate attack on a Thai-flagged VLCC Tateyama in the Strait of Hormuz was thwarted on 28 February.

At 1218hrs local time on 28 February lookouts on the Tateyama spotted a two skiffs accelerating towards the tanker.

“Sensing the ship’s vulnerability due to not having a protective armed security team embarked, the master broadcast a distress message to other nearby vessels and the Omani Coastguard requesting immediate assistance,” Combined Maritime Forces said in a statement.

As the skiffs closed on the vessel the master initiated a ship wide lock down and increased the speed of the vessel to maximum.

The Combined Maritime Forces counter piracy force CT151 scrambled Australian frigate HMAS Darwin, a Pakistan Navy maritime patrol aircraft was quickly on the scene, and joined shortly after by a US maritime patrol aircraft.

One of the skiffs stopped in the water while the other reduced speed to 12.5 knots bringing the threat of an attack to an end.

When the vessels entered Omani waters the Oman Coastguard took over and managed to stop the skiffs and question the men onboard.

“Having only taken command of CTF 151 a few days ago, it is heartening to see such a well co-ordinated action by CTF 151 in cooperation with other agencies, demonstrating Combined Maritime Force’s resolve to suppress piracy activity,” said Commodore Ali Abbas, Commander of CTF 151.