Capt. (Commander) Steven Waddell (left) of HMCS Fredericton (seen background) takes the Rigged Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) for a drive while on patrol in the Gulf of Aden on Dec. 9 as Leading Seaman Ronald MacAdam looks on. The military says the Canadian
The military says a Canadian warship rendered help to a vessel held captive by Somali pirates for nearly two months.
Crew aboard the HMCS Fredericton say they moved in Monday afternoon after learning a ransom had been paid to pirates on board the MV Kota Wajar, and the ship was being released from their control. (There are more than 50 Newfoundlanders serving onboard the Fredericton.)
The Fredericton responded as it was the closest NATO or coalition warship to the vessel.
Officials say a naval boarding party conducted a security sweep to verify all the pirates had left.
A medical specialist then assessed all 21 crew members onboard and found them to be in good health.
After determining the ship was fit to sail, the boarding team left fresh food and water for the crew before departing.
"It was very fortunate that we were in close proximity to the KOTA WAJAR and able to act as fast as we could to provide them assistance as they cleared Somali waters" said Commander Steve Waddell, commanding officer of HMCS Fredericton.
"No law abiding sailor should ever have to endure what these men have endured," said Waddell.
The MV Kota Wajar was used by Somali pirates as a mother ship which was involved in the hijacking and kidnapping of Paul and Rachel Chandler on Oct. 23, 2009 and used to transport the couple to Somalia, according to a military news release.
HMCS Fredericton is deployed on a six-month mission to the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa to conduct counter piracy and counter terror operations, the release said.