Castaways safely brought back to SomaliaJune 7, 2009 - 11:55
Early today four sailors from Somalia, who had been rescued during a distress at sea incident, were safely brought back to their home country by a French EU NAVFOR warship.
Ten days ago, on Thursday, 28 May 2009, eight Somali sailors were found in a small boat with a malfunctioning engine in the Gulf of Aden. Two were found dead, four others were injured and two remained unhurt. They were found by the French EU NAVFOR Atalanta ship, COMMANDANT BOUAN, investigating a distress call from a merchant vessel under pirate attack. The attack had been thwarted by an Indian warship escorting a convoy, however no further information could be gleaned. No evidence was discovered concerning the question whether the Somali sailors were involved in this attempted piracy incident. Subsequently, they were rescued by the French warship in accordance with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) obligating masters of all vessels to provide help to those in distress.
The castaways explained to the BOUAN’s crew that they were citizens from Puntland in the North of Somalia. The two unhurt sailors and the two dead sailors were transferred to Boosaaso and handed over to the Puntland Coast Guard last Monday.
The remaining four injured people were transferred to the French Military Hospital in Djibouti for medical treatment after having been rescued and have now been transferred to Boosaaso and handed over to a Coast Guard vessel, as survivors.
The transfers were conducted by the French frigate COMMANDANT BOUAN as tasked by the EU NAVFOR Atalanta Force Headquarters.
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