Australian navy thwarts pirate attack on British ship

6th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Australia's navy scared off pirates who boarded a British tanker in the Arabian sea, the defence department said.

HMAS Melbourne rushed to the rescue of the British-flagged chemical carrier after it came under attack on Monday afternoon, a statement said.

"While steaming to the aid of the MV CPO China, HMAS Melbourne's helicopter launched and on arrival in the vicinity of MV CPO China was able to deter the pirates from attempting to take control of the ship," it said.

"As a result the pirates aborted the attack and left the vessel when HMAS Melbourne arrived on the scene."

The crew had barricaded themselves in the vessel's citadel, where they could control the ship and maintain communications and where the pirates were not able to enter.

"Our men and women aboard HMAS Melbourne deserve recognition for their role in providing maritime security and countering piracy in the Arabian Sea," said Major General John Cantwell.

"This is one of those occasions where their efforts have become highly visible."

© 2011 AFP

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