Montecristo: Royal marines to the rescue
They boarded the 56,000-ton bulk carrier Montecristo and disarmed the pirates without encountering any opposition. USS De Wert was the first NATO warship to reach MV Montecristo and assessed the situation while the NATO boarding team was getting ready to intervene. British Marines, armed with pistols and SA-80 automatic rifles and operating from a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, the RFA Fort Victoria, sped towards the hijacked ship in inflatable boats as a British helicopter buzzed overhead.
“It was a compliant boarding — the 11 pirates surrendered without firing a shot,” said a Ministry of Defence spokesman. “They were arrested and detained on board the ship.” The ship’s 23 crew – seven Italians, six Ukrainians and 10 Indians — were released unharmed.
Four of the Italians were privately-contracted security guards, but in line with international practise they were unarmed and had been powerless to fend off the pirates.