Here we go again. Remember last week’s hijacking attempt they were repelled first. Now the are firing Rockets at the Liberty Sun a US Cargo ship on its way to Kenya. The Pirates believe that despite the Easter Sunday rescue of Captain Phillips, President Obama does not have the resolve to do what it needs to end Somali piracy. Based on the initial few weeks of the Obama Presidency, the Pirates may be right. But the ONLY way to insure that America has freedom of the seas is to send the “U.S.S DONT F**K WITH AMERICA” To Somalia. Details about the new attack below:
Pirates attack U.S. cargo ship but fail to get aboard
Crewman e-mails, “We are under attack by pirates, we are being hit by rockets”
(CNN) — The Liberty Sun, a U.S.-flagged cargo ship bound for Mombasa, Kenya, was attacked Tuesday by Somali pirates, according to a NATO source with direct knowledge of the matter.
“The pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons at the vessel, which sustained damage,” said a statement from New York-based Liberty Maritime Corporation, which owns the vessel.
The ship was carrying U.S. food aid for African nations, the statement said.
The pirates never made it onto the ship and the vessel is now being escorted by a coalition ship, still bound for Mombasa, officials said.
Katy Urbik of Wheaton, Illinois, said her son, Thomas, was aboard the Liberty Sun at the time of the attack. She shared the e-mails he sent as the ship came under fire.
“We are under attack by pirates, we are being hit by rockets. Also bullets,” said one e-mail sent Tuesday afternoon. “We are barricaded in the engine room and so far no one is hurt. [A] rocket penetrated the bulkhead but the hole is small. Small fire, too, but put out.
“Navy is on the way and helos and ships are coming. I’ll try to send you another message soon. [G]ot to go now. I love you mom and dad and all my brothers and family.”
About 1½ hours later, Thomas Urbik sent another e-mail to his mother, which said, “The navy has showed up in full force and we are now under military escort … all is well. I love you all and thank you for the prayers.”
Earlier Tuesday, pirates off the coast of Somalia seized two freighters, proving they remain a force to contend with just days after the U.S. Navy dramatically rescued an American captain held by other pirates.
First, pirates in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday hijacked the MV Irene EM, a 35,000-ton Greek-owned bulk carrier, according to a NATO spokesman and the European Union’s Maritime Security Center.
The crew of the Greek carrier was thought to be unhurt and ships have been warned to stay clear of the area for fear of further attack, the Security Center said.
Later Tuesday, pirates on four skiffs seized the 5,000-ton MV Sea Horse, a Lebanese-owned and Togo-flagged vessel, said Cmdr. Chris Davies of NATO’s Maritime Component Command Headquarters in Northwood, England.
Details about the ship and its crew weren’t immediately available.
NATO has an ongoing anti-piracy mission off Somalia called Operation Allied Protector. The mission involves four ships covering more than a million square miles, Davies said.
A U.S.-led international naval task force, Combined Task Force-151, is also patrolling in the region.
Tuesday’s hijackings came two days after sharpshooters from the U.S. Navy SEALs killed three pirates who had been holding U.S. Captain Richard Phillips hostage on the water for days.
Phillips had offered himself as a hostage when pirates attacked his vessel, the Maersk Alabama, on Wednesday, officials said. The ship had been on its way to deliver an aid shipment to Mombasa, Kenya.
The pirates set off with Phillips on one of the Alabama’s covered fiberglass lifeboats. They then drifted about 300 miles off Somalia as the U.S. Navy sent ships to the region.
After a five-day high seas standoff, and with negotiations faltering, Navy snipers managed to kill each of the three pirates on the lifeboat with a single bullet to the head, a senior defense official told CNN.
The fourth pirate had been aboard the USS Bainbridge when the shootings occurred and was taken into custody. Watch the tough tactics the Navy uses »
Federal prosecutors will now determine whether that pirate will be prosecuted in the United States, Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said.
The 20 crew members of the Maersk Alabama, who remained free during their captain’s ordeal, are already in Mombasa awaiting a reunion with Phillips. They are relaxing at a beach resort in the coastal city under the watchful eyes of the Kenyan military while the Bainbridge takes Phillips to meet them, a U.S. military spokesman said.
Maersk, the company that owns their vessel, announced Tuesday that Phillips and the crew will return Wednesday to the United States aboard a chartered flight from Mombasa.
They are to land at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, where they are to be reunited with loved ones in a private reception area.
The two freighters seized Tuesday are the third and fourth vessels hijacked in two days off the Somali coast.
Pirates on Monday hijacked two Egyptian fishing boats carrying a total of between 18 and 24 people, the Egyptian Information Ministry told CNN.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry is working to end the hijacking, the ministry said.
Egyptian boats are known to use Somali waters illegally for fishing, taking advantage of the lawless state of the country and the lack of enforcement of its maritime boundaries.
Those who have tracked pirate activity in Somalia say it started in the 1980s, when the pirates claimed they were trying to stop the rampant illegal fishing and dumping that continues to this day off the Somali coast.
Piracy accelerated after the fall of the Somali government in the early 1990s and began to flourish after shipping companies started paying ransoms. Those payments started out being in the tens of thousands of dollars and have since climbed into the millions.
Some experts say companies are simply making the problem worse by paying the pirates.