Yemeni Coastguard rescues Saudi ship from Somali pirates [Archives:2008/1188/Front Page]

September 8 2008

SANA'A, Sept. 7 ) Yemeni Coastguard forces were able to save a Saudi trade ship from attempted piracy by Somali pirates while the ship was passing through the international waters of the Gulf of Aden. The ship was on its way from Jeddah to Bahrain.

Rukn Shuja, head of the Coastguard's operations, said that the Yemeni Coastguard received a message from a Saudi ship asking for help last Saturday afternoon. He pointed out that the ship was around 90 kilometers away from Ras Qawah on the Yemeni coast. He said that the Yemeni Coastguard authority sent the boat that was patrolling the area to the location of the ship.

Shuja maintained that three boats belonging to Somali pirates intercepted the Saudi ship and opened fire before the Yemeni coastguards arrived and chased them away. He noted that the Somali pirates were forced to flee toward Somali waters.

He made clear that most piracy acts occur in the international waters off the east coast of Yemen, between Ras Amran and the region of Shaqrah, due to a lack of coastguards in that area.

The Yemeni Coastguard forces saved a Japanese oil tanker this past April after Somali pirates targeted it with an RPG shell.