The incident took place during the second week of August when the Maltese-flagged “Caravos Horizon”, 68,438dwt, was on passage south through the Red Sea and was boarded by six armed men.The 24 Filipino crew took shelter in the ship’s citadel, a secure room within the ship.
The “Monmouth” was about 90 miles away when the alarm was raised and she launched her Lynx helicopter from 60 miles away to assess the situation, assisted by a helicopter from the nearby US Navy amphibious assault ship “Bataan”.
There appeared to be no sign of the attackers, but a ladder over the side of the bulk carrier was spotted. Lieutenant Chris Easterbrook, pilot of the Lynx, said: “We provided real-time information to the “Monmouth”. We stood off at a distance, relaying the current situation and taking photographs and video footage to aid the commanding officer’s decision-making process.”
At the same time, communications were established with the Master of the “Caravos Horizon”, safe inside the citadel with his crew. He told what had happened to his ship, but was unaware of the current situation on board and had not heard any activity outside the citadel.
A team of Royal Marines Commandos, backed up by a Royal Navy boarding team, then embarked on the “Caravos Horizon” by helicopter and boats, and they systematically worked their way through the ship ensuring she was clear of intruders.
More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - October 2011 Issue
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