Helmetcam footage of Dutch Special Forces boarding a hijacked vessel off Somalia

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Helmetcam footage of Dutch Special Forces boarding a hijacked vessel off Somalia

This kind of footage of Special Forces being released by the Dutch MOD is a rarity, and gives insight in how a boarding operation is carried out, from a rather unique perspective. The man narrating is the commander of the MARSOF boarding team.

This is the release of german motorvessel MS Taipan, April 5th, some 500 NM off the coast of Somalia.

10 pirates hijacked the vessel, but the crew managed to retreat to a safe-room. So NL MARSOF could carry out an opposed boarding, without any hazard for the crew.

The video is chronological; with the commander explaining where they are: helo, landing on the front, approaching the bridge, arresting 6 pirates on the first deck, another 2 on the back, and the last two just below the bridge. Clever pirates never used their guns.

The pirates had been on board for just 4 hours, yet they made a huge mess of the cabins of the crew while looking for booty.




Text from http://www.militaryphotos.n...

... Quote:
0:00
Somalia, April 5th, 2010: The German freighter Taipan is cleared of pirates by HMS Tromp.
The commander of the boarding team comments on the footage of the operation, captured with a helmet cam.

0:14-approx. 0:32:
Our team got the assignment to ‘liberate’ the motor vessel taipan from pirates. There were 10 pirates on board, which had hijacked the ship, and 15 crew members, who were safely inside the safe room down in the ship.

0:33- 0:58
The sensor operator is dropping the fast rope line from the helicopter and will shortly be guiding down the people coming down the fast rope. I myself am firing the MAG(notice how he does it one handed!) to give suppressing fire to deny the pirates on the deck of the taipan the chance to fire at us.

0:59

You can see the HMS Tromp to the right

1:07-1:40
From this moment on there is suppressing fire coming from the roofs of the containers as well, for the people still having to come down the line.
You can see that the stacked up containers give us quite some visual cover, so that when someone needs to change a magazine, they can step aside and change magazines under cover and return to giving suppressing fire on the brigde. After that we moved to the back of the ship( Achterschip) and the bridge to liberate the taipan from the pirates.

The segment on the ship’s board is hard to understand, I can make out something about one of the guys seeing the skiff and another one confirming.

2:00-2:53
Having arrived there, we first detained six pirates, who were situated on the lower deck. We had them come through the window, It being broken and we could see them moving. They were ‘spoken to’ and we had those six pirates come outside, and we cuffed and secured all six of them right there.

At a certain moment one my team members could hear voices on the back deck, and they started to react. They hailed the pirates, and again two pirates emerged from behind the corner (of the superstructure). They were unarmed as well, and we again restrained and cuffed them, and we ended up with 8 pirates on that deck.

2:54- approx 3:20
At this time one of the pirates is being told to come down. He is being watched by one of the team members as he comes down with his hands up. As he comes on to the deck, the team members will restrain and cuff him. Eventually we ended up with 10 pirates.( you can hear the operators telling each other they’ve got the guy in their sights and one of them should move to another position, the other guy seemingly acknowledging that; you can hear one guy telling another to ‘get on the corner’)

3:22- end of video
With three pax- three men, we moved on up to the bridge, and through the bridge, which we had to clear first, as it was our focal point, we moved down, when it was clear, we moved down into and searched the accommodations of the ship’s crew for more pirates.
What they did in the accommodations was ransack it. There were notebooks on the floor everywhere; there were doors that had been kicked in and they had fired through doors, those being the doors they could not breach. They had created quite a mess on the ship in the four hours they had been on board.
They were indeed armed; they had discarded the weapons on site, it varied from RPG’s and RPG-7’s to AK-47’s and pistols. The German captain decided to open the doors and came out with his entire club(club being colloquial Dutch for a bunch of people) They were obviously very relieved. We gathered them on the port side of the ship’s stern and told them what had happened and how we got on board. We got a little applause, yes, and they were very happy to see us…

As for the nomenclature: Motor Vessel is of course the official English designator for a merchant vessel, but it is not something that is used extensively outside of official channels like the navy and the coastguard. I would hazard a guess that it is operating procedure to use the designator along with the ships' name and that was the reason the team commander used it like he did. The Dutch language has several quite indigenous words for a merchant vessel.


helmet-cam-somalia.jpg - 19.55kb
By netchicken: posted on 2-5-2010








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