A Portuguese warship briefly held 19 pirates armed with high explosives after foiling an attack on a Norwegian tanker in the Gulf of Aden, NATO said on Saturday, while Somali pirates said they had seized a Ukrainian ship carrying United Nations vehicles.
NATO lieutenant commander Alexandre Fernandes said the Norwegian crude oil tanker MV Kition radioed for help Friday afternoon as a skiff full of pirates brandishing assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades approached.
"We were the nearest warship, so we immediately scrambled our helicopter,“ said Fernandes from on board the Corte-Real, which was about 20 nautical miles north of the MV Kition when the distress call went out.
The helicopter spotted the skiff and began tracking the pirates, who fled to their mothership, a dhow carrying 19 heavily-armed pirates, which was later intercepted after a high-speed chase by a Portuguese escort frigate.
Eight marines then managed to board the vessel. Click here to read a full report on the incident and click here to read the NATO Shipping Centre update.