Pirates fire on U.S. helicopter

There’s lots of good pirate drama on the high seas in the Gulf of Aden these days, giving a slew of international naval vessels and air-surveillance teams no shortage of things to do. In fact, that’s where the latest story begins. While surveiling a hijacked Taiwanese vessel this morning, the MV Win Far — where ...

By , International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Colombia.
581670_090827_helicopter12.jpg
581670_090827_helicopter12.jpg
090818-N-3659B-332 PERSIAN GULF (August 18, 2009) – An SH-60B Seahawk assigned to the “Scorpions” of Light Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HSL) 49 lifts off from the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Thach (FFG 43). The SH-60B conducts anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions from the decks of cruisers, destroyers and frigates. Thach and the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 7 are currently on a routine deployment in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Operations to the U.S. 5th Fleet are focused on reassuring regional partners of the United States' commitment to security, which promotes stability and global prosperity. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph M. Buliavac/Released)

There's lots of good pirate drama on the high seas in the Gulf of Aden these days, giving a slew of international naval vessels and air-surveillance teams no shortage of things to do.

In fact, that's where the latest story begins. While surveiling a hijacked Taiwanese vessel this morning, the MV Win Far -- where 30 hostages are being held -- a U.S. helicopter team was fired upon by pirates using "large caliber" weapons. The shots missed, and all the Americans were fine. But it made for some pretty interesting video, which you can download here.

There’s lots of good pirate drama on the high seas in the Gulf of Aden these days, giving a slew of international naval vessels and air-surveillance teams no shortage of things to do.

In fact, that’s where the latest story begins. While surveiling a hijacked Taiwanese vessel this morning, the MV Win Far — where 30 hostages are being held — a U.S. helicopter team was fired upon by pirates using “large caliber” weapons. The shots missed, and all the Americans were fine. But it made for some pretty interesting video, which you can download here.

Of course, far better yet (if you’re looking for drama) are the unofficial pirate cops: tourists seeking a good bit of fun. If this story from the British The Sun newspaper story is right, you could join the pirate fight — under the protection of Russian ex-special forces — for a mere £3,500 a day.

What a steal.

Elizabeth Dickinson is International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Colombia.

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