Dutch Navy Releases Video of Storming of Ship Taken by Pirates

The Dutch navy released a video Friday of its recent storming of a German ship and the capture of a band of pirates on board.

The ship, the MS Taipan, was rescued April 5 by the Dutch, and 10 pirates were arrested and jailed in the Netherlands.

The gripping video shows the operation from the point of view of one of the military men. Dutch naval captain Col. Hans Lodder has said that, after ascertaining that the Taipan's crew was safe, he launched his ship's Lynx helicopter with a team of six special-forces marines. With troops providing covering fire from the helicopter, the marines landed onto the ship's deck of the MV Taipan, meeting no resistance from the pirates.

"The pirates surrendered the moment they saw the marines," Col. Lodder told the Associated Press.

Military officials have said the Dutch frigate sidestepped the European Union's antipiracy task force to free the German cargo ship from Somali pirates.

It was the first time a Dutch ship involved in the EU mission had used force to recapture a hijacked ship. An EU spokesman couldn't immediately recall any incident when troops under EU command had boarded a seized ship under the threat of fire.

Col. Lodder said he decided to seek permission from his own command for an "opposed boarding"—one in which pirates may resist—rather than act under procedures laid down by Brussels.

"We just told my force commander we would operate under national command until after the boarding," he added. "We kept everyone in the EU informed of everything we did."

Cmdr. John Harbour, U.K.-based spokesman for the European Union Naval Force Somalia said the Dutch action avoided a delay and was legitimate. "For speed of reaction, if you're on the spot ... [and] dispatched at haste to react to something immediately, the best thing to do is to go under national command," he said.