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April 28, 2011
HMAS Stuart has rescued three peo-
ple being held hostage by suspected
Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa.
The RAN frigate interdicted a
Yemeni-flagged vessel, also known as
a dhow, on April 11 while monitoring
suspected pirate activity in the area.
Fifteen suspected Somali pirates
who had attacked the Al Shahar 75
about 20 days before surrendered as
Stuart's boarding party approached.
The boarding party found 11
AK-47 assault rifles with 16 maga-
zines, a large quantity of small-arms
ammunition and a rocket-propelled
grenade launcher (with grenade) on
the vessel. The weapons were cata-
logued and then disposed of over-
Chief Joint Operations LTGEN
Mark Evans was pleased with the way
Stuart's crew handled a difficult and
"No shots were fired by either
Stuart or the suspected pirates dur-
ing the interdiction, and no threats
were made by the suspected pirates to
harm the Yemeni crew once they saw
the boarding party rapidly secure the
dhow," LTGEN Evans said.
" Stuart's boarding party did
extremely well in maintaining the
safety of the dhow's crew and ensuring
a potentially challenging situation did
Stuart escorted the dhow from the
area. Unarmed, the suspected pirates
were released in their skiff after being
given adequate water, food, fuel and
communication equipment to make the
Stuart is currently deployed to the
Middle East where she is conducting
maritime security, counter-terrorism
and counter-piracy operations with the
Combined Maritime Force's (CMF)
Task Force 151.
In accordance with UN Security
Council Resolutions, and in coopera-
tion with non-member forces, CMF's
mission is to disrupt piracy and armed
robbery at sea, secure freedom of nav-
igation and protect global maritime
Dropping in at Dubai
HMAS Stuart completed a suc-
cessful Self-Maintenance Period
(SMP) in Dubai in the United Arab
Emirates from March 26 to April 5.
The visit involved several days
dedicated to maintenance, with the
ship's company, Fleet Support Unit
-- West sailors and local contrac-
tors tackling a list of jobs.
Stuart welcomed many visitors
during the SMP. The Commanding
Officer, CMDR Brett Sonter,
hosted a luncheon for Australia's
Ambassador to the UAE Doug
Trappet and his family.
The crew also had some well-
earned rest and recreation with
shopping visits and divisional
activities around Dubai.
LSCIS Amy Orringe and LSCIS
Amelia Kirkhope were the lucky
winners of the ship's raffle, spend-
ing a night at the luxurious Burj
Al Arab Hotel. The raffle raised
money for the ship's charity, Red
Kite.Stuart returned to sea in good
condition, ready for her third
patrol as part of Operation Slipper
Stuart rescues hostages
FIREPOWER: Part of the collection of weapons found on the vessel.
THICK OF THE
ACTION: HMAS Stuart
crew members prepare
to board the dhow.
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