EU NAVFOR saves Somali sailors adrift for 37 daysOctober 19, 2009 - 23:17
On the morning of Sunday October 18th the helicopter of EU NAVFOR warship HNLMS Evertsen sighted a large skiff adrift 230 nautical miles east of Mogadishu, Somalia. HNLMS Evertsen turned towards to investigate as this type of open boat is not only locally used by traders but also frequently used as a “mother skiff” supporting pirate groups. No other vessels were detected in the sea area around the skiff.
In the skiff there were two Somalis with little water and only a handful of rice and sugar remaining. The two persons on board the skiff, who reported to being fuel and food traders for fishermen along the coast, had planned for a four day trip at sea. Unfortunately, after only three days, their inboard engine broke down and they were adrift for 37 days.
A technician from EU NAVFOR warship Evertsen established that the engine of the skiff was beyond repair and the two men were taken on board Evertsen to be medically checked and given food and water.
After further investigation the individuals were considered to be genuine traders and, with their skiff in tow, they were brought to the coast where locals (of the same clan) assisted in taking them to the beach near Mereeg South of Haradeere. The crew of the EU NAVFOR ship Evertsen were thanked by the two individuals and their clansmen were extremely grateful for Evertsens humanitarian actions because the men had already been presumed dead by their clansmen.
HNLMS Evertsen takes part in the European Union Naval Force Somalia – Operation ATALANTA. The main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying food of the ‘World Food Program’ (WFP), the protection of vulnerable ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy.
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