U.S. Navy rescues tanker crew after pirate attack
U.S. Navy sailors approach a lifeboat carrying the crew of a burning tanker off Yemen on Wednesday.
July 6th, 2011
11:52 AM ET

U.S. Navy rescues tanker crew after pirate attack

U.S. Navy sailors from the guided missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea rescued 26 crew members of a Liberian-flagged tanker after an attack by pirates off Yemen on Wednesday, according to Navy and media reports.

A rocket-propelled grenade struck the 144,000-ton crude carrier Brilliante Virtuoso in an early-morning pirate attack, setting fire to crew quarters on the vessel, according to a report from Reuters Africa.

"It is understood that the pirates fired RPG into the accommodation area, which started a fire," ship manager Central Mare Inc. said in a statement quoted by Reuters Africa. "As a result the pirates abandoned their efforts to take control of the ship and left the scene, and the master ordered evacuation of all crew members."

The Philippine Sea responded to a distress call from the Brilliante Virtuoso and found the crew of 26 Filipinos in a lifeboat. The U.S. ship did not see any sign of pirates, according to the Combined Maritime Forces, a 25-nation coalition under which the Philippine Sea was operating.

Two tug boats dispatched from Aden were escorting the tanker with its load of a million barrels of fuel oil to safe port, Reuters Africa reported.

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Filed under: Pirates • U.S. Navy • Yemen
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. nancine

    those butttpiirates of are carribean are at it again. dabg lesbeans.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. nancine

    gay lesbean pirates just make me sick. i hope we give em casey anthony. theyd know what to do to her.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. Spammy

    You DO know what "lesbean" means, don't you, nancine?
    Okay. Whatever.

    July 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. madboots

    Why don't big ships carry a 50 cal? Problem solved. And I lurv lesbeans...

    July 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • because

      a few reasons:
      1. if tankers and other cargo vessels started to carry weapons then pirates would start with more drastic attacks leaving more people dead
      2. carrying ordnance on a vessel with 1,000,000 barrels of oil could spell disaster.
      3. a lot of countries will not let you enter their ports with fire arms

      July 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ajd041

    Its our own fault for not guarding the ships! And its a dilemma if we give the ships weapons they will be more drastic if we don't give them weapons they're sitting ducks

    July 6, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • oreally

      We should just let them steal the oil, I'm pretty sure they knew those waters were unsafe before sailing into them. I think we should waste more tax dollars protecting ships from other countries who sail into known pirate waters. *Stupid*

      July 20, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Andrew Nutra

    I SUPPORT THESE PIRATES 100%. MORE POWER TO THEM!!! MAY THEY CONTROL THE OPEN SEAS! They are just taking advantage of these tankers' stupidity, idiocy for not arming themselves. The captain and crew are just "hoping for the best" when they go out to sea, hoping and praying that they won't get attack. If they're stupid enough not to defend themselves then they deserve what they get!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. maggie

    MY BROTHERRRRRR is one of the rescue swimmers 🙂 go navyyyy

    July 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      So cool, Maggie! My brother was on the ship! Go Navy!

      July 9, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      so was my brother in law!

      July 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Molly

      Maggie it's Molly your cousin! I am so proud of cuddles!! USA!

      July 13, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
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    July 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. HornetDriver

    Ironic that a Navy vessel named the Philippine Sea rescued 26 Filipinos.

    July 19, 2011 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. fearlessdude

    Piracy was introduced by the British mostly against the Spanish boats to steal the new world gold. The British were brutal, no prisoners were taken.

    July 24, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |