En route to the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show, which took place last weekend, February 25-27, the 60-meter Lürssen Linda Lou had a run-in with pirates in the Gulf of Aden. Thanks to the actions of Linda Lou’s Capt. Michael Schueler and his crew, who immediately contacted the anti-piracy coalition task force operating in the region, the attack was averted before the vessel’s decks could be breached.
According to reports published on Sail-World.com and TheNational.ae, the attack took place in mid-February. Linda Lou was in the Gulf of Aden after 30 days at sea transiting to the second annual Abu Dhabi Yacht Show in the United Arab Emirates, when her crew sighted a mother ship disguised as a fishing dhow, accompanied by four lightweight skiffs. They instantly suspected the vessels to be armed pirate craft – especially when they began approach the superyacht at an angle where they would be “coming out of the sun.”
Linda Lou was not alone and defenseless, however. She was fortified with barbed wire positioned at vulnerable points on deck and reportedly had an acoustic deterrent device on board, as well as a safe room. She was traveling in a convoy of eight boats under military protection by the coalition task force.
Anticipating that the pirates intended to board Linda Lou, Capt. Schueler accelerated to the yacht’s top speed of 16 knots, asked the women members of the 17-person crew to hide in the safe room and radioed the coalition escort. A coalition warship immediately responded by saying a helicopter gunship was being scrambled. A British military helicopter arrived at the yacht’s position within six minutes.
The British gunship, reportedly armed with a 50-caliber machine gun, was able to scare off the pirates without having to fire a shot. Linda Lou and the other yachts in her convoy safely proceeded to the UAE without further incident.