You’ve got to admit the Somali pirates have pluck. Using a collection of barely sea-worthy skiffs, they target ships hundreds of times larger.
Typically, those larger ships are unarmed tankers or cruisers – easy targets. On the night this video was taken, the pirates bit off a little, make that a lot more than they could chew.
As the skiffs approach the USS Cape St. George, a Ticonderoga-class missile cruiser, and the USS Gonzales, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, they realized the gravity of their mistake. According to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs,
ABOARD USS CAPE ST. GEORGE, At Sea (NNS) — USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) returned fire on a group of suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean, killing one and wounding five, approximately 25 nautical miles off the central eastern coast of Somalia in international waters at 5:40 a.m. local time, March 18.
Cape St. George, a guided-missile cruiser, and Gonzalez, a guided-missile destroyer, were conducting maritime security operations in the area as part of Combined Task Force 150, a maritime coalition task force currently led by Royal Netherlands Navy Commodore Hank Ort, when they spotted a suspect vessel towing two smaller skiffs heading west toward the coast. As Gonzalez’s boarding teams prepared to conduct a routine boarding of the suspect vessel, the two Norfolk, Va.-based Navy ships noticed the group of suspected pirates were brandishing what appeared to be rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers.
The suspected pirates then opened fire on the Navy ships. Cape St. George and Gonzalez returned fire with small arms in self-defense.
One suspected pirate was killed and a fire ignited aboard the main suspect vessel. Boarding teams from Cape St. George and Gonzalez took 12 other suspects into custody, including the five injured. The Navy boarding teams also confiscated an RPG launcher and automatic weapons. No U.S. Sailors were injured in the engagement.