Australia — HMAS Melbourne disrupts pirate attack in Arabian Sea

Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy frigate HMAS Mel­bourne has dis­rupt­ed a pirate attack on a tanker in the Ara­bi­an Sea.
HMAS Mel­bourne steamed to the aid of the UK-flagged chem­i­cal tanker MV CPO Chi­na, which had been board­ed by pirates in the Ara­bi­an Sea at approx­i­mate­ly 1.45pm Bahrain time on Mon­day, 3 Jan­u­ary.

When ini­tial­ly alert­ed to the inci­dent HMAS Mel­bourne was approx­i­mate­ly 267kms north of the MV CPO Chi­na but was able to cov­er that dis­tance in just over six hours. 

While steam­ing to the aid of the MV CPO Chi­na, HMAS Melbourne’s heli­copter launched and on arrival in the vicin­i­ty of MV CPO Chi­na was able to deter the pirates from attempt­ing to take con­trol of the ship. As a result the pirates abort­ed the attack and left the ves­sel when HMAS Mel­bourne arrived on the scene. 

The crew of MV CPO Chi­na had suc­cess­ful­ly secured them­selves in the ship’s citadel (an anti-pirate strong­hold) from where they could main­tain satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions and con­trol the ship. The engine con­trols and steer­ing equip­ment for the tanker are locat­ed in the citadel. 

“This is a ter­rif­ic exam­ple of how Australia’s mar­itime con­tri­bu­tion to the Mid­dle East Area of Oper­a­tions pro­vides anoth­er lay­er of secu­ri­ty for the region and to the con­duct of trade and sup­pres­sion of crim­i­nal activ­i­ties,” said the Com­man­der of Joint Task Force 633, MAJGEN John Cantwell. 

“One of our objec­tives for oper­a­tions in the Mid­dle East is to assist the efforts of the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty in reduc­ing acts of pira­cy. Our men and women aboard HMAS Mel­bourne deserve recog­ni­tion for their role in pro­vid­ing mar­itime secu­ri­ty and coun­ter­ing pira­cy in the Ara­bi­an Sea. 

This is one of those occa­sions where their efforts have become high­ly vis­i­ble,” he said. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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