Piracy off the Somali coast has been a threat to international shipping since the beginning of Somalia’s civil war in the early 1990s. Somali pirates continue their attacks against international ships in and around the Gulf of Aden, despite the deterrent of stepped-up international naval escorts and patrols – and the increased failure rate of their attacks. Under agreements with Somalia, the U.N, and each other, ships belonging to fifteen countries now patrol the area.
Pirates are being captured more regularly and being handed over to authorities in Yeman, Somalia and Kenya for trial. I was always curious about Pirates of Somalia, so I collected these photos.
Pirates flee from the German navy as the frigate Rheinland-Pfalz intercepted them in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia’s coast on March 3, 2009. The German navy detained nine people on March 3, 2009 after they tried to attack a German merchant ship, German media reported.
Suspected pirates keep their hands in the air as directed by sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf
Photos shows pirates hijacking MV Faina, a cargo ship owned and operated by Kaalbye Shipping Ukraine on September 25, 2008. It was carrying cargo of 33 Soviet-era T-72 tanks plus other weapons.
Somali pirates holding the merchant vessel MV Faina stand on the deck of the ship after a U.S. Navy request to check on the health and welfare of the ship’s crew in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia. (Photo by US Navy)
The crew of the hijacked Ukrainian merchant vessel MV Faina stand on the deck, under the watch of armed Somali pirates on November 9
A French Atlantic Plane escort a Danish ship with sensitive freight, off the coast of Djibouti, as part of an assignment to escort commercial ships in this area.
French frigate, Le Floreal watches over the Danish ship “Puma” which is carrying sensitive cargo, on January 11, 2009, in the Gulf of Aden.
The MV Sirius Star is observed at anchor by the US Navy on January 9, 2009. Suspected pirates can be seen on deck an up in the command center.
A parachute dropped by a small aircraft during an apparent payment to pirates holding the Sirius Star off the coast of Somalia, January 9, 2009. Somali pirates then freed the Saudi supertanker seized in the world’s biggest ship hijacking for a $3 million ransom – but five drowned when their boat capsized as they were making off with their share.
Flying on board a Panther helicopter dispatched from the French frigate, Le Floreal, a crew member watches a commercial ship during a supervision mission on January 11, 2009, in the Gulf of Aden.
Search and seizure team members from the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf close in to apprehend suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden February 12, 2009
Commandos from French frigate Le Floreal arrest nine Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden in this January 27, 2009. France has captured 57 pirates in seven such operations since last April.
This photo shows suspected pirates, intercepted by Marine commandos of the French Navy in the Gulf of Aden, off Somalia coasts.
Bundeswehr soldiers approaching pirates in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia on March 3, 2009, after frigate Rheinland-Pfalz (background) had received a distress call from a German-owned container ship saying she was under fire from pirates armed with bazookas and machine guns. The frigate then dispatched a helicopter which together with another chopper from the US naval ship Monterey stopped the attempted attack by firing warning shots. German soldiers boarded the pirate vessel and took the nine into custody.
German navy from frigate Rheinland-Pfalz detain pirates in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia’s coast on March 3, 2009, in this picture made available on March 4, 2009.
Suspected Somali pirates as the captured by French Navy.
A rusty Kalashnikov assault rifle, confiscated from pirates detained by German navy from frigate Rheinland-Pfalz in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia’s coast on March 3, 2009
Ransom money is dropped near the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina while under observation by a U.S. Navy ship February 4, 2009 off the coast of Somalia near Hobyo.
MV Faina is escorted by a Kenyan port authority tug vessel into the port of Mombasa, Kenya on February 12, 2009, after it was released by Somali pirates a week ago. It arrived in Mombasa amid a raging controversy over its cargo of battle tanks and ammunition.
Soviet made T-72 tanks sit in the hull of the Belize flagged MV Faina on February 13, 2009 at the Mombasa, Kenya harbor where it has been berthed for the last two days.
Suspected pirates wait to be moved at the port in Mombassa, Kenya, Tuesday, March 10, 2009, after they were handed over to Kenyan police by the German navy who arrested them off the coast of Somalia the previous week.
Yemeni coast guards on standby next to the damaged Japanese tanker Takayama, that was attacked by pirates following its arrival in the southern Yemeni port of Aden.