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Royal Marines Capture 13 Pirates


British and U.S. Naval forces have carried out an operation resulting in 13 suspected pirates being captured. In a dawn operation in waters off Somalia, RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) Fort Victoria and the USS Carney approached a fishing dhow suspected of being used by pirates. A Royal Marines Maritime Sniper team aboard a Royal Navy Lynx Mk8 helicopter fired warning shots at the pirate dhow which even then refused to stop. 2 Rigid Hull Inflatable boats (RIBs), launched from RFA Fort Victoria and carrying Royal Marines, gave chase. Royal Marines boarding parties eventually boarded the vessel. 13 suspected pirates were detained and a quantity of weapons were found.

The Royal Marines were with the Fleet Standby Rifle Squadron (FSRS). The FSRS is a relatively new company-sized formation, based at Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, with the role of being a high readiness contingent unit. It includes ship-boarding specialists who have recently replaced the formerly deployed FPGRM's Fleet Contingency Troop on counter-piracy boarding operations in the region.

update: watch MoD video of the operation

Royal Marines - pirates
Royal Marines boarding a suspected pirate ship in Somali waters.
© MoD 2012

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