EU NAVFOR Warship FS Tonnerre destroys pirate mother shipMay 1, 2010 - 14:04
EU NAVFOR warship FS Tonnerre located and boarded two pirate ships early this morning, 1st May, 450 nautical miles east of Somalia. Evidence was secured, weapons and a ladder, and 11 suspected pirates were taken on board the Tonnerre.
On Friday evening an EU NAVFOR maritime patrol aircraft from Sweden detected a pirate action group (PAG) of one mother ship and two skiffs. The Force Commander, Rear Admiral Jan Thörnqvist, ordered the nearest EU NAVFOR vessel, the French warship Tonnerre, to interdict the PAG.
Early this morning Tonnerre located the PAG and deployed her helicopter. When the suspected pirates realised that anti piracy forces were closing in, they started to throw some weapons and the ladder overboard which was recorded by the helicopter crew.
A boarding party went over from Tonnerre and secured the remaining evidence as well as taking the suspected pirates on board the frigate. The mother ship, a “Whaler” was destroyed and the two skiffs taken aboard FS Tonnerre.
This successful disruption continues to show EU NAVFOR more agressive strategy is working.
EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Programme (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 off Somalia.
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