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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05DJIBOUTI259 2005-03-10 12:12:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

REPORT OF ATTACK ON U.S. SAILBOATS NEAR YEMEN

Tags:   EWWT PHSA KCRM PBTS YM DJ 
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					UNCLAS DJIBOUTI 000259 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EWWT PHSA KCRM PBTS YM DJ
SUBJECT: REPORT OF ATTACK ON U.S. SAILBOATS NEAR YEMEN



1. (U) ConOff was approached March 10 by an officer
from CJTF-HOA, informing her that CJTF-HOA had received
a report that two private American sailboats had come
under fire while sailing the Gulf of Aden on March 8.
The source of the report, a third American sailboat, had
contacted the military requesting guidance and
information on potential assistance. The text of the
third sailboat's account follows:

"Unfortunately, there was a pirate attack on two
boats yesterday March 8 at 5pm Yemen time at
position: 13 28N 48 07E. I will repeat the
information that we received on our Net this
morning.

Two boats (Mahdi and Gandalf email above) were
sailing about 25 miles off the coast of Yemen
yesterday, when they were approached by two fast
boats earlier in the day, probably as a set-up for
the attack. At about 5pm two boats were sitting in
the sun and quickly sped up to intercept them. The
description of the boats was: a blue hulled rib cage
boat with inboard motors (but we think they were
outboards hidden below) with orange tarp over the
men, so that when they were within 50 feet of the
boats they opened fire. The sailboats did return
fire and think that they may have wounded one of the
pirates and Gandalf rammed one of the boats and the
pirates left. The boats have bullet holes but are
sea worthy and Gandalf has bullet holes in his
dinghy and possible damage from ramming the pirate
boat. Thankfully, they were not boarded and robbed,
no one was injured, and their boats are fine.

Maydays were made, but no one responded.

They have been in touch with the Port Captain at
Aden and were promised assistance to enter the
harbor tonight between 10-12pm; however, we are
wondering if they should go into Aden considering
that shots were fired. Could it become a very
serious and possibly dangerous situation for them
there? ."



2. (U) Upon verifying that active hostilities were not
ongoing, and that the boats were able to make port on
their own power, the military passed the message to
Embassy Djibouti for follow up. Embassy Djibouti is
responding, and will advise the boats that if they
choose to dock in Djibouti, we will offer any victims
assistance, and medical care if they request it. We have
an NCIS investigator at the Embassy who will interview
them for identifying information about the attacking
vessels and their crew, which he can pass to regional
Navies.



3. (U) We have reason to believe the AmCits may arrive
in Djibouti. They are said to fear reprisal in Yemen for
shooting one of the attackers and would prefer not to
dock in Yemen. They reportedly have also been advised
that diesel and boat repair resources may be limited in
Eritrea. If the individuals involved contact the
embassy, we will interview them and provide an updated
report.

Ragsdale