Sattahip navy ships save Thai cargo vessel from hijacking off Somalia

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Two Sattahip-based naval vessels on an anti-piracy mission off Somalia rescued a Thai cargo ship from being hijacked in the Gulf of Aden.

Crews of the HTMS Similan and HTMS Narathiwat were contacted Aug. 21 by the M.V. Thor Harmony, a 194-meter bulk carrier operated by Bangkok’s Thoresen & Co., after crew members had witnessed Somali pirates attacking a nearby oil tanker. Navy personnel advised the Thai-flag freighter to flee the area and met the ship to escort it and its cargo of dried goods to Jordan.

Pirates zero in on the MSC Namibia II.Pirates zero in on the MSC Namibia II.

The save was just one of two wins for the Thai task force last month. Two days later the Similan thwarted the attempted hijacking of the MSC Namibia II 70 miles off the Yemeni coast. The Thai ship sent a Bell helicopter with six crew aboard to the Liberian cargo ship, which was under attack with rocket-propelled grenades.

Pirates broke off the attack and escaped on a skiff. The tanker and pursuit of the skiff were turned over to a U.S. Navy vessel.

Thai forces chase off the pirates, allowing free passage for the MSC Namibia II.Thai forces chase off the pirates, allowing free passage for the MSC Namibia II.

The two navy ships are on Thailand’s second mission to the Gulf of Aden as part of an international anti-piracy task force. The vessels left Sattahip July 12 and are scheduled to return Nov. 28.