In spite of the recent publicity surrounding piracy in the Arabian Gulf, armed attacks on yachts - with the yachts returning fire - in this area are not new. On the 12th April, 2001, the Italian owned British registered Daisy Duck was attacked at 7.40am local time. Her position was 12°55'N 48°20'E, 64 miles from the Yemeni coast and 98 miles from the Somali coast.
The attacking craft was a blue, wooden traditional fishing boat with a small cabin roof and a high, noisy exhaust. There were 3 crew of unknown provenance.
As the attacking boat approached the yacht, a Hyundai container ship came up from astern. Four other ships were within 16 miles on radar. Daisy Duck contacted the container ship on VHF 16 because they needed fuel and were worried about the closing fishing boat. The container ship reassured them about the fishing boat but said they couldn't stop to provide fuel.
Shortly afterwards the fishing boat closed to within 15m and asked Daisy Duck to stop. When Daisy Duck refused and accelerated, the fishing boat fired shots. There is no report of the shots hitting Daisy Duck.
The skipper of Daisy Duck was armed and had his gun stood-by. He returned fire aggressively. Subsequently the one remaining attacker who was still upright steered the attacking boat away, in what direction is not known.
Meanwhile the skipper's wife, below with the two young children, sent Mayday calls on VHF16 and MF/HF 2182kHz, 4125kHz, 6215kHz, 8291kHz, 12290kHz and 16420kHz. There were no replies, not even from the Hyundai container ship now 0·5 mile off Daisy Duck's bow despite repeated, direct pleas.
Subsequently contact was made via ham radio with the Rome Coastguard and the Italian embassy in Djibouti. Too late of course. Undoubted robbery or piracy attempt.
by Daisy Duck - 5:39 PM Sun 4 Dec 2005 GMT
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Piracy and the Cruising sailor
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