EU NAVFOR warship disrupts Pirate Action GroupNovember 15, 2010 - 14:31
On 13 November, the EU NAVFOR warship SPS INFANTA CRISTINA intercepted a whaler with four suspected pirates on board. The whaler was located 200 nautical miles off the Somali Coast. The SPS INFANTA CRISTINA was patrolling the area as part of the EU NAVFOR’s Operation ATALANTA.
The whaler, which had been initially spotted by an EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA), was found to be operating with a skiff and was suspected of being a support vessel for pirate activities in the region.
The Spanish warship launched its Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB) with a specialist boarding team to intercept both vessels. The whaler was successfully intercepted and four suspected pirates found to be onboard. The skiff fled the scene.
There was insufficient evidence to pursue a prosecution. Therefore the whaler was destroyed and the four suspected pirates were returned to Somalia. This disruption has hampered pirate action and avoided highly probable attacks on merchant and vulnerable vessels.
EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and to protect vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
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