By Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs
MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) responded to a mayday message from M/V Artemis Glory which reported it was being attacked by pirates while transiting the Gulf of Oman at 10:35 a.m. (local), May 16.
The German-owned, Panama-flagged, very large crude carrier (VLCC), was en route from Juaymah Terminal in Saudi Arabia to China with a cargo of crude oil when it was attacked while sailing south east through the Gulf of Oman.
Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Diligence (A132) received a mayday call from the MV Artemis Glory, saying that their ship was under attack by pirates.
RFA Diligence relayed the mayday message to Combined Maritime Forces (UKMTO). UKMTO confirmed the message with the master of Artemis Glory, that she was being pursued by a skiff with four individuals on board who were firing small arms at the vessel.
Bulkeley, operating as part of Combined Maritime Forces, responded to the mayday by launching an SH-60B helicopter assigned to Helicopter Squadron, Light (HSL) 48, Det. 4, "Vipers," to investigate.
Upon arrival, the helicopter observed Artemis Glory being attacked by four individuals in a skiff who were firing upon on the vessel using small arms.
Under the principle of 'extended unit self defence' and in order to provide protection to the crew of Artemis Glory, Bulkeley's helicopter engaged the pirates.
All the pirates are believed to have been killed.
Artemis Glory has 23 crew persons onboard. No crew members were injured in the attack.
Artemis Glory is continuing to her next port of call.