DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – U.S. Marine commandos stormed a pirate-held cargo ship off the coast of Somalia Thursday, reclaiming control and taking nine prisoners. It was the first such boarding raid by the international anti-piracy flotilla, U.S. Navy officials said.

The mission, using small craft to reach the deck of the German-owned vessel as the crew huddled in a safe room below, ranks among the most dramatic confrontations with pirates by the task force created to protect shipping lanes off Somalia.

The crew managed to kill the engines before taking refuge in a panic room-style chamber, leaving the ship adrift and the pirates so frustrated they started damaging equipment after hijacking the vessel Wednesday, Navy officials and the ship’s operator said.

Lt. John Fage, a spokesman at the U.S. Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain, described the predawn raid as an “air and sea” assault that included Cobra attack helicopters for surveillance and coordination.

It was the first such raid since the multinational task force was formed in January 2009 to patrol off the Horn of Africa, said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Amy Derrick-Frost in Bahrain.

Fage said there were no injuries reported among the Marines or 11-member crew of the Magellan Star. The pirates were armed with AK-47 assault rifles, but “there were no shots fired” on either side, Fage said.

A Turkish frigate on anti-piracy patrols, TCG Gokceada, first responded to a distress call from the ship, which flies the flag of Antigua and Barbuda. Fage said the crew was able to maintain contact with maritime officials from their safe room using a satellite phone.

The crew also shut down the engines as the pirates approached, said Juergen Salamon, the ship’s operator based in Dortmund, Germany.

“The pirates had entered a ship that they couldn’t steer and there was no crew,” he said.

The ship was traveling from Bilbao, Spain, to Singapore with a cargo of anchor chains, Salamon said. It is now en route to Dubai for repairs.