The Italian Frigate Libeccio Assists A Dhow In The Gulf of Aden.February 3, 2014 - 15:39
On Friday, 31 January 2014, the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta warship ITS Libeccio, assisted a Yemeni dhow that was adrift 100 nautical miles from the shore.
While patrolling in the Internationally Recognized Transit Corridor (IRTC) to ensure safety to merchant vessels and local seafarers, the Italian Frigate saw on the horizon a dhow moving at a very low speed with what seemed like a makeshift sail. Reducing distance to gather more information it soon became obvious that the dhow was in an emergency situation.
Technical personnel of ITS Libeccio were invited on board the dhow to offer assistance. Unfortunately, the technicians could only confirm that the engine was beyond repair.
As the dhow was unable to sail home under its own steam and the situation posing a potential danger to the life of the crew, the Commanding Officer of ITS Libeccio, Commander Stefano Calvetti, decided to toe the dhow towards the coast of Yemen.
The dhow, with the help of the Italian Frigate’s Seaboats was pushed towards the ship and, after a thorough check of the sturdiness of the hull and the wellbeing of the crew, the dhow was given a supply of food and fresh water and was positioned at the stern of the Italian ship and towed.
After a whole night spent at a minimum speed to avoid causing damage to the small boat, on the morning on Saturday, 1 February, in vicinity of Al Mukallah (Yemen), the Italian Frigate contacted the local Coast Guard who immediately sent a patrol boat to recover the dhow and tow it and its crew safely home.
After the safety of the dhow was ensured the crew of the Italian frigate has resumed her patrolling duties in the Gulf of Aden with a feeling of accomplishment. ITS Libeccio responded to an emergency of fellow seamen, proving again the great compassion amongst sailors, regardless of nationality or culture.
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