On the evening of 23 Oct. 2010, the LPG Tanker MV Maido was attacked by suspected pirates approximately 80 miles to the east of the Tanzania-Mozambique border.

The French-flagged merchant vessel, on passage from Port Louis, Mauritius, to Tanzanian capital Dar Es Salaam, was not far from its final destination when it sent out a distress message stating that it was being approached by a skiff.

Since the distress message, the vessel had not been contactable and the counter-piracy Combined Task Force 151 coordinated the investigation into the situation. The MV Maido’s Master is French, with the crew consisting of 9 Filipino, 3 French and 1 Pole. The crew were able to retreat into a secure room, or citadel, putting them out of the reach of the pirates. After a few hours onboard, the pirates abandoned the MV Maido. The crew are unharmed and the MV Maido is now safely making way to Dar Es Salaam.

Commander of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151), Turkish Rear Admiral Sinan Ertugrul stated, “It is always a great concern when innocent merchant vessels are attacked by pirates. Again, the quick thinking actions of employed by the crew proved to be an effective way in which to stop the pirates from gaining control of the ship. Combined Task Force 151 has tasked German warship FGS Koeln, currently operating as part of the EU Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), to go and investigate the area where the attack took place. Both CTF-151 and our partner organisations remain fully committed to dealing with problem of piracy within the region.”

CTF-151 was established in January 2009 as a multi-national counter-piracy task force. In conjunction with NATO and EUNAVFOR, ships from CTF-151 patrol in the Somali Basin and the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden. CTF-151 also supports the Best Management Practice methods which are promoted to the shipping industry for the avoidance of piracy.

CTF-151 is one of three task forces operated by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a global maritime partnership, dedicated to promoting security and prosperity across some 2.5 million square miles (6.5 square kilometres) of international waters in the Middle East. CMF’s main focus areas are countering terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment.