Gun fight on the high seas

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

The Royal Navy HMS Cumberland (Type 22 frigate) took on a pirate dhow on the high seas. No prize for guessing who won that fight!

The Times has the story

Pirates caught redhanded by one of Her Majesty’s warships after trying to hijack a cargo ship off Somalia made the grave mistake of opening fire on two Royal Navy assault craft packed with commandos armed with machineguns and SA80 rifles.

In the ensuing gunfight, two Somali pirates in a Yemeni-registered fishing dhow were killed, and a third pirate, believed to be a Yemeni, suffered injuries and subsequently died. It was the first time the Royal Navy had been engaged in a fatal shoot-out on the high seas in living memory.

By the time the Royal Marines boarded the pirates’ vessel, the enemy had lost the will to fight and surrendered quietly. The Royal Navy described the boarding as “compliant”.

The last time a Type 22 frigate was in “action” was that incident when the the Iranian Revolutionary Guards captured some sailors in the Gulf.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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Join the conversation
  • Dave Dave on Jan 12, 2009

    Okay, that's a pretty awesome story. Have to wonder what was going through these pirates' minds when they made the decision to open fire.

    Not much, I'd wager.

  • Nelis Nelis on Jan 30, 2009

    What was going through their mind?

    Some bullets, I'd wager.