ESSN fra vandet

The Danish frigate Esbern Snare which is operating in the Gulf of Guinea to improve maritime security. Photo: Anders V. Fridberg / Danish Armed Forces

Defence Command Denmark

Correction: On December 2, the Armed Forces issued a correction of the number of stopped pirates from eight to nine.


On Wednesday, November 24, the crew of the frigate Esbern Snare responded to reports of an increased risk of piracy in the waters south of Nigeria. The ship set in that direction and sent the ship's Seahawk helicopter in advance to observe.

The crew of the helicopter found in the afternoon in an area with a number of merchant ships a fast-moving motorboat with eight suspicious men on board. On board the ship, the helicopter crew could see a number of the tools associated with piracy, including ladders.


No reaction

During the evening, Esbern Snare was close enough to send the Frogman Corps off in their fast-moving RHIB boats to board the pirate ship.

Esbern Snare called the pirates to bring them to a halt so that the Danish soldiers could get on board. When the pirates did not react, the Danish forces fired warning shots, cf. their powers. The pirates then opened fire directly on the Danish soldiers. The Danish soldiers then reacted in self-defence and responded to the fire from the pirates.

A brief firefight ensued. No Danish soldiers were injured, but five pirates were hit. Four of the pirates died. One was injured.


Detained on board


After the firefight, the pirate ship sank. The eight pirates were taken aboard the frigate Esbern Snare, where one wounded man was treated for his injuries.

The inter-ministerial working group will deal with what should happen to the pirates.