THE MAERSK ALABAMA INCIDENT
Oddly-named Danish container ship MV (Motor Vessel) Maersk Alabama sailed the Mombasa-to-Djibouti route for ten peaceful years before the piratical assault that made it famous. Ironically, the crew had participated in a union-mandated anti-pirate training course just a day before Somalian pirates used a captured Chinese fishing boat to attack their vessel.
While the Maersk Alabama successfully swamped the inflatable skiff, the Somalis used to board the ship just by swinging its huge rudder from side to side, the crew had nothing to fend off the pirates other than Chief Engineer Mike Perry’s knife. Incredibly, Perry and his knife managed to capture the pirate ringleader, but his good-faith negotiations with the pirates fell through and the Somalians escaped with the Maersk Alabama captain on one of the ships lifeboats.
Fortunately, the USS Bainbridge had been dispatched to the area (the Maersk Alabama being the first American-registered ship in a hundred years to have fallen prey to pirate assault) and soon tracked down the lifeboat, and elite SEAL sharpshooters picked off the few pirates guarding their hostage.