COPENHAGEN – A Danish navy ship seized a suspected pirate vessel off the coast of Somalia and freed 14 hostages on board, the navy said on Sunday.
The Absalon warship, serving in NATO’s counter-piracy mission Ocean Shield, captured the fishing vessel and 25 suspected pirates on Saturday, a navy spokesman said.
The suspected pirates, believed to be Somali, were being questioned on Sunday, spokesman Mikael Bill said.
“The operation went as planned, without casualties to the crew, hostages or pirates,” the Absalon’s commanding officer, Carsten Fjord Larsen, said in a statement released on Saturday.
The hostages were from Pakistan and Iran, the statement added.
Piracy is rife off the Horn of Africa, disrupting shipping lanes between Europe and Asia, putting seamen, vessels and cargoes at risk, and costing shippers huge sums to protect themselves.
The fishing vessel was carrying small skiffs with large outboard motors. Pirates often use those lighter skiffs to board the vessels they hijack, Bill said.
Larger support vessels enable pirates to operate farther from shore.