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McFaul Crew Captures Suspected Pirates, Rescues Crew

By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Rachel McMarr
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command

MANAMA, Bahrain, April 7, 2010 – The crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul captured 10 suspected pirates and rescued eight crewmembers from the Indian cargo dhow Faize Osamani near Salalah, Oman, April 5 after a dhow and three skiffs attempted to attack the Motor Vessel Rising Sun the same day.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
A boarding team from the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul inspects the Indian-flagged Faize Osamani, April 5, 2010. The dhow was a suspected pirate mothership. U.S. Navy photo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Rising Sun sent a distress call that morning to alert maritime forces that pirate skiffs had pulled alongside and were firing small arms and rocket-propelled grenades at their vessel.

The Omani warship Al Sharquiyah and the USS McFaul immediately responded.

As the naval vessels were in transit, Rising Sun used the industry-recommended "best management practices" of increasing speed, evasive maneuvers and spraying potential attackers with fire hoses to thwart the pirate attack as the navies were in transit. These efforts were rewarded when the pirate skiffs broke off their attack and returned to their pirated mother ship, the Faize Osamani.

The Omani vessel arrived first to the last known location of the pirated mothership. As the Omani ship approached, the nine hostage sailors from Faize Osamani jumped into the ocean in an attempt to get away from the pirates and toward their rescuer. The Omani navy crew was able to rescue eight of the crewmembers; however, one crew member drowned.

Despite the loss of their hostages, the pirates remained aboard the Faize Osamani.

As the Omani ship rendered assistance to the escaped hostages, USS McFaul arrived. With two warships now operating close to each other, the pirates agreed to a compliant boarding. McFaul crewmembers approached the dhow and directed the suspected pirates to surrender by gathering on the bow with their hands in the air. They quickly threw their weapons overboard and complied.

Two boarding teams from McFaul deployed in rigid-hull inflatable boats, boarded the dhow and took control of the Faize Osamani.

The surviving sailors of the dhow Faize Osamani were returned to their vessel, and the Omani warship transported their lost shipmate’s body to shore.

The suspected pirates were transferred to the destroyer USS Carney in anticipation of further transfer to a state willing to accept them for prosecution.

USS McFaul is attached to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, working in support of maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

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U.S. Naval Forces Central Command


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