EU Naval Force Frigate FGS Hessen Interacts With Local Fishermen off The Horn Of AfricaJanuary 28, 2014 - 16:38
Last week, German EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta warship, FGS Hessen spotted three Iranian flagged dhows stopped in the water in close proximity to each other. FGS Hessen called the dhows on the ship’s radio to ask if any assistance was needed. One of the masters of the dhows immediately invited the German sailors to go on board his vessel.
The Commanding Officer of FGS Hessen, Commander Jacobus, dispatched a small team to transfer across for a so called ‘friendly approach’. As they approached, the master of the dhow was already standing at the upper deck awaiting his guests.
Once aboard, the Hessen’s team was invited to the master’s living quarters. In an open conversation, he expressed his and his crew’s concerns with regards to piracy and other more general topics affecting them at sea. Some of the crews had been victims of piracy in the past and stated that they were happy with the presence of European Union warships, which they said made them feel safer at sea.
The Hessen’s team explained the role of Operation Atalanta and urged the importance for all seafarers to report suspicious activities to counter-piracy forces in the area. After an hour of conversation, it was felt that all participants had gained a deeper understanding of each other and supported the overall aim to make the sea off Somalia safer. Further help and assistance was offered and contact details provided.
At the end of this friendly approach, the German crew thanked the master and his crew for the master’s invitation and warm welcome. After the master waved goodbye, his continued with his fishing activity.
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