Atalanta begins Maritime Aircraft Patrols in the Indian OceanApril 9, 2009 - 14:30
This week has seen significant activity both by the hijackers operating off the Somalia coast in the Indian Ocean and by Op Atalanta in combating their actions.
As a result of the good weather conditions and the deterrent effect of warships from EU NAVFOR, NATO and CTF 151 and other independent nations in the Gulf of Aden the hijackers have moved the attention into the Somali Basin. This has resulted in a number of hijackings both of merchant vessels and other smaller craft.
In an effort to locate these pirates in the vast area of the Indian Ocean EU NAVFOR has now begun regular surveillance sorties using Spanish and French Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
However, the pirates have not had it all their own way. As a result of FGS RHEINLAND-PFALZ’s action last week in the Gulf of Aden, when a number of misguided Somalis attempted to attack a German Military tanker, 7 suspects were handed over to the Kenyan police in Mombasa earlier this week for prosecution.
Also the Greek Atalanta Flagship which handed over command to the Spanish Frigate ESPS NUMANCIA last weekend in Djibouti also apprehended 5 suspects early last week after a Norwegian owner chemical tanker was attacked in the Gulf of Aden.
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