Navy Frigate Raids Pirate Vessels

A Royal Navy frigate has undertaken three counter-piracy operations during a seven-month deployment in the Indian Ocean.

Portsmouth-based HMS Westminster raided vessels which had been used by pirates in hijacking attempts on ships travelling through the area.

The early morning operations by the Type 23 frigate involved the warship's boarding teams being supported by a Merlin helicopter as they targeted the vessels, detained suspects and destroyed equipment.

A navy spokesman said:

 ''Using the Merlin's powerful sensors, on each occasion we found the suspected pirates and identified weapons, excessive fuel, ladders and more people than you would expect to find for any other purpose in small boats, hundreds of miles from land in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

''Faced with an overwhelming display of force, the suspected pirates immediately surrendered.''