EU NAVFOR teamwork again: suspected pirates stopped in Gulf of AdenSeptember 21, 2009 - 14:14
Late afternoon of Sunday 20th of September, a Bulk Carrier reported an approach of a skiff while in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor in the Gulf of Aden. On board of the Bulk Carrier a unit of the Yemeni Navy was embarked. On sighting of these military personnel the skiff abandoned the approach and tried to flee as reported by the merchant vessel to the UK Maritime Trade Organization in Bahrain. UKMTO alerted other merchant vessels and the Counter Piracy Forces on MERCURY, the EU introduced common counter piracy communication system.
Thereupon a Japanese P3 reconnaissance aircraft, already on site, reported position information to other Counter Piracy forces. The Australian warship TOOWOOMBA of CTF 151, closest to the skiff, was assisted by the helicopter of the German EU NAVFOR warship FGS BREMEN in stopping the fleeing skiff. On sighting of the helicopter unknown items and a ladder were thrown over the bow of the skiff and all eight persons on the skiff raised their arms awaiting the boarding team of HMAS TOOWOOMBA. During the boarding all piracy related paraphernalia were seized and destroyed. The helicopter of FGS BREMEN continued to secure the area from the air.
This is just one example of the excellent coordination and cooperation between the Counter Piracy Task Forces active in the Gulf of Aden. The use of the common communication system MERCURY proved its utility again.
FGS BREMEN takes part in the EU NAVFOR mission Operation ATALANTA. The main tasks of Operation ATALANTA 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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