Piraterie — McFaul Crew Captures Suspected Pirates, Rescues Crew

MANAMA, Bahrain, April 7, 2010 — The crew of the guid­ed-mis­sile destroy­er USS McFaul cap­tured 10 sus­pect­ed pirates and res­cued eight crewmem­bers from the Indi­an car­go dhow Faize Osamani near Salalah, Oman, April 5 after a dhow and three skiffs attempt­ed to attack the Motor Ves­sel Ris­ing Sun the same day.

A boarding team from the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul inspects the Indian-flagged Faize Osamani, April 5, 2010. The dhow was a suspected pirate mothership. U.S. Navy photo
A board­ing team from the guid­ed-mis­sile destroy­er USS McFaul inspects the Indi­an-flagged Faize Osamani, April 5, 2010. The dhow was a sus­pect­ed pirate moth­er­ship.
U.S. Navy pho­to

Ris­ing Sun sent a dis­tress call that morn­ing to alert mar­itime forces that pirate skiffs had pulled along­side and were fir­ing small arms and rock­et-pro­pelled grenades at their ves­sel.

The Omani war­ship Al Shar­quiyah and the USS McFaul imme­di­ate­ly respond­ed.

As the naval ves­sels were in tran­sit, Ris­ing Sun used the indus­try-rec­om­mend­ed “best man­age­ment prac­tices” of increas­ing speed, eva­sive maneu­vers and spray­ing poten­tial attack­ers with fire hoses to thwart the pirate attack as the navies were in tran­sit. These efforts were reward­ed when the pirate skiffs broke off their attack and returned to their pirat­ed moth­er ship, the Faize Osamani.

The Omani ves­sel arrived first to the last known loca­tion of the pirat­ed moth­er­ship. As the Omani ship approached, the nine hostage sailors from Faize Osamani jumped into the ocean in an attempt to get away from the pirates and toward their res­cuer. The Omani navy crew was able to res­cue eight of the crewmem­bers; how­ev­er, one crew mem­ber drowned.

Despite the loss of their hostages, the pirates remained aboard the Faize Osamani.

As the Omani ship ren­dered assis­tance to the escaped hostages, USS McFaul arrived. With two war­ships now oper­at­ing close to each oth­er, the pirates agreed to a com­pli­ant board­ing. McFaul crewmem­bers approached the dhow and direct­ed the sus­pect­ed pirates to sur­ren­der by gath­er­ing on the bow with their hands in the air. They quick­ly threw their weapons over­board and com­plied.

Two board­ing teams from McFaul deployed in rigid-hull inflat­able boats, board­ed the dhow and took con­trol of the Faize Osamani.

The sur­viv­ing sailors of the dhow Faize Osamani were returned to their ves­sel, and the Omani war­ship trans­port­ed their lost shipmate’s body to shore.

The sus­pect­ed pirates were trans­ferred to the destroy­er USS Car­ney in antic­i­pa­tion of fur­ther trans­fer to a state will­ing to accept them for pros­e­cu­tion.

USS McFaul is attached to the USS Dwight D. Eisen­how­er Car­ri­er Strike Group, work­ing in sup­port of mar­itime secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of respon­si­bil­i­ty.

U.S. Naval Forces Cen­tral Com­mand
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)