The US Navy said Wednesday that one of its battleships patrolling the Gulf of Aden apprehended seven suspected pirates, marking the first such action by the newly-established multinational Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 to combat piracy, dpa reported.
The guided missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) apprehended the pirates after responding to a distress call from a nearby merchant vessel on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Manama-based US Navy 5th Fleet Command.
"At approximately 3:00 pm this afternoon, the Marshall Islands- flagged Motor Vessel Polaris sent a distress call to all ships in the area reporting that a small skiff containing seven suspected pirates had attempted a forcible boarding of their vessel using a ladder," the statement said.
According to the statement, several weapons were seized during a search operation onboard the suspected pirate vessel.
The USS Vella Gulf is the flagship of the CTF 151, which conducts counter-piracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Red Sea.