EU NAVFOR warship LA FAYETTE to the rescueAugust 18, 2009 - 10:23
On the morning of 17 August a EU NAVFOR warship came to the rescue of the passengers and crew of a small boat that encountered engine failure in the middle of the Gulf of Aden.
At 0954 local time the EU NAVFOR warship FS LA FAYETTE reported that her helicopter detected a small boat in the Gulf of Aden approximately 100 miles south east of Al Makalla, Yemen, with what appeared to be engine failure. FS LA FAYETTE set course to the small boat to investigate and to see if she could assist in any way. On arrival at the scene, LA FAYETTE launched her rib (dingy) to discover that the small boat had ran out of gasoline and had been drifting for a few days. Lafayette provided water, food and medical assistance to relieve the worst needs of the 48 people on board.
The French crew managed to start the engines of the boat after which it sailed towards the Yemeni coast. UNHCR in Yemen and the Yemeni coastguard were informed of the situation through the embarked Yemeni naval liaison officers. Because the small boat had to cross a busy shipping lane, the LA FAYETTE monitored her movements to ensure her safe crossing. During the crossing the boats engine failed again so to ensure their safe passage LA FAYETTE took the passengers and crew on board and delivered them to the safety of the Yemeni coastguard. The small boat was destroyed to ensure it would not pose a hazard to navigation.
FS LA FAYETTE is patrolling the shipping route in the Gulf of Aden for the EU NAVFOR mission Atalanta to protect shipping against piracy. For regional cooperation, two Yemeni naval liaison officers were embarked.
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