The last we heard from the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama and her crew, ship chef Richard Hicks was suing the shipping company for inadequately preparing them for transit through waters near Somalia by not giving them guns to help them deal with pirates. Whether it was the lawsuit, or just that the last time the ship was attacked it garnered international attention, a three-day showdown, and intervention by snipers from the U.S. Navy, something worked. Because when Somali pirates made the mistake of attacking the Maersk again early this morning, the crew was only too ready to fend them off. Accompanied by a small guard force, people onboard the ship managed to easily fend off the motley pirate crew.
Though Somali forces vowed revenge after the last encounter with the Maersk left three of their numbers dead, an EU official thinks this second attack is just a coincidence. “It’s not the first vessel to have been attacked twice, and it’s a chance that every single ship takes as it passes through the area,” EU Naval Commander John Harbour said. “At least this time they had a vessel protection detachment onboard who were able to repel the attack.”