A group of suspected pirates was captured Thursday after attacking a U.S. Navy frigate in the Indian Ocean, according to a statement released by the U.S. Sixth Fleet.
The USS Nicholas reported taking fire from a suspected pirate skiff shortly after midnight local time west of the Seychelles, the statement said. The Nicholas quickly returned fire and began pursuing the skiff, which was eventually disabled. A boarding team from the Nicholas subsequently captured and detained three people, the statement said.
The team discovered ammunition and several cans of fuel aboard the skiff, which was later sunk by the Nicholas.
Two more suspected pirates were captured on a confiscated "mother ship," the statement said. The detainees will "remain in U.S. custody on board Nicholas until a determination is made regarding their disposition," it said.
The Pentagon is determining its next steps, and the suspects may be sent to Kenya to be tried in a piracy court there, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Thursday
The Nicholas, based in Norfolk, Virginia, is part of the U.S. military's Africa Command.---------------------------------------
The USS Nicholas (FFG-47) is a third-generation Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigate. The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates were designed primarily as anti-aircraft and anti-submarine warfare guided-missile warships intended to provide open-ocean escort of amphibious warfare ships and merchant ship convoys in moderate threat environments.
Complement = 15 officers and 190 enlisted