Navy frigate Mecklenburg-Vorpommern prevented “two suspicious, speed boats” from approaching the luxury liner on Friday of last week, Der Spiegel reported. The navy boat fired warning shots with a machine gun as the pirates approached the 600-passenger MS Astor. Cowed by the show of force, the two boats fled “at high speed into Yemen’s territorial waters,” the magazine said.
The MS Astor, operating for Transocean Tours was on its way from Egypt to Dubai from and landed there on Tuesday.
The German government has reiterated its calls for action against the pirates operating along the coast of Somalia, with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier saying this month that the country needed to act urgently.
The German Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, is set to vote in December on whether their troops will participate in an EU mission to hit the high seas before the end of the year. The government is trying to determine how troops can play a role in light of international laws, which separate police and military actions. EU officials have said that pirates must be tried by authorities in the nation where the highjacked ship is registered.