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Royal Marines Snipers Help Capture Pirates

02.12.2011

Royal Marines captured several suspected Somali pirates after a high speed chase in the Indian Ocean. Several pirate vessels, with a total of 7 suspected pirates aboard, where intercepted by Royal Marines and Royal Navy personnel on Tuesday.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel, RFA Fort Victoria - involved in several recent anti-piracy operations - responded to a distress call from a Spanish fishing vessel which was under attack by pirates, some 350 miles off the coast of Somalia. Fort Victoria launched her Lynx helicopter which arrived to find 2 pirate vessels, a whaler and a skiff, surrounding the Spanish trawler

The arrival of the Royal Navy helicopter caused the pirates in the skiff to attempt to flee the scene. The Lynx gave chase, as did a force of Royal Marines on board a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) and Offshore Raiding Craft (ORC).

A specially-trained Royal Marine with the Fleet Protection Group's Maritime Sniper team was on board the Lynx. When the fleeing pirates disregarded warnings given to them to stop, the Royal Marines sniper fired several warning shots across their bow, causing it to stop. The skiff and the whaler were promptly boarded by Royal Marines, as was another nearby skiff. A total of 7 suspected pirates were arrested, with no injuries reported on either side.

Police, including dog handlers, from the Seychelles were on scene to search the captured vessels for evidence with the aim of using it to prosecute the suspected pirates.

Video taken from one of the Royal Marines boats that pursued the pirates:

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