US Navy destroyer USS Pinckey disrupted suspected pirates south of Yemen on December 19, the US Navy said in a statement late Wednesday. The destroyer responded to a distress call by the Nordic Apollo, a Suezmax crude tanker, that "they were under attack and [had] been fired upon by pirates from a skiff."
Pinckey's helicopter successfully tracked and located a skiff, "observing nine suspected pirates and pirate paraphernalia on board, including several ladders, weapons and fuel containers," the US Navy statement said.
Cyrus Mody from the International Maritime Bureau said Thursday navies operating in the area off Somalia and the Gulf of Aden have helped reduce successful hijackings by Somali pirates this year. "After the monsoon we have not seen a lot of piracy attacks," Mody said, adding that "the navies had been very actively targeting the pirate action groups and that has helped in reducing the numbers."
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