Pirate skiffs were scared away from a private yacht off Yemen when Japanese and Pakistani warships came into view.
An Australian couple, Lachin and Louise Turner, and their daughter 11 and son 4, were sailing off Yemen as part of a round-the-world tour when they were approached by pirates. The family was stalked for about four hours. During that time, more skiffs arrived, cutting in front of them; trying to halt their progress towards other vessels in the area.
Low on fuel, the family's concern grew. They had already called for help, and a Japanese warship had dispatched a helicopter and a plane to monitor the situation. The Japanese pilot kept in radio contact and directed the yacht towards the naval ships.
The pirates had limited time to act and closed in. However, the warships came into view at that time and they retreated.
“We believe it was only by minutes that the appearance of two warships on the horizon thwarted the attack,” Ms Turner said.
The Pakistani naval ship supplied the yacht with fuel and escorted them to Djibouti
Ms Turner said the family knew how lucky they had been. It was both a terrifying and sobering experience.
Originally reported by Maritime Executive.
This incident follows the attack of a merchant vessel that was transiting the IRTC off the coast of Yemen on the 31st March. The merchant vessel was fired at by two skiffs before the armed security team on board returned fire and thwarted the attack.