Danish Navy Rescues Drifting Probable Pirates

Somalis had weapons on board; men handed to Yemeni coast guard
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2008 10:23 AM CST
A Yemeni coast guard stands alert as he patrols the gulf of Aden off Yemen, Monday, Sept. 22, 2008. The region is difficult for international navies to monitor.   (AP Photo/Mohammed al-Qadhi)
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(Newser) – Danish sailors sent to the Gulf of Aden to combat piracy found themselves instead rescuing a group of hungry Somali men in a broken speedboat filled with grenades and AK-47s. The navy ship, which had been patrolling the area as part of an international anti-piracy effort, confiscated the weapons and sank the boat, but handed the men to the Yemen coast guard rather than arrest them, the New York Times reports.

Such a weapons stash is typical of pirates, but "we haven’t caught them in an act of piracy, and what their main purpose was—your guess is as good as mine," said the ship's commander. The men had signaled the warship in distress after drifting for days. They  were given food and water and checked by a doctor.