Italian Frigate ITS Libeccio Sails Home After Successful Counter Piracy Operation With EU Naval ForceFebruary 7, 2014 - 11:03
The crew of Italian Frigate ITS Libeccio is heading for home after completing a four month deployment with the EU Naval Force off the coast of Somalia.
The warship’s 240 crew members left their home port of La Spezia on 27 August 2013 and began their mission with an intense period of training, first in Taranto (Italy) and then in Souda (Greece). ITS Libeccio arrived in Djibouti on 6 October 2013 and shortly after commenced her counter piracy patrols at sea.
During this period Libeccio and her crew patrolled the Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin and the Arabian Sea, sailing over 20,000 nautical miles. Her boarding team performed over 50 friendly approaches to local vessels in order to gain a better understanding of their concerns and to ensure that they understood the on-going piracy threat.
Piracy has been a real concern in the Indian Ocean since 2005. At its peak in January 2011, over 736 innocent seafarers and 32 ships were being held for ransom off the Somali coast. Strenuous efforts by the International Community has drastically reduced pirate attacks. Today the number of seafarers being held from ransom stands at 50 and one ship, FV Naham 3 remains in pirate hands.
This reduction in piracy can be attributed to the efforts of naval forces and the adoption of enhanced self protection measures by the maritime industry.
ITS Libeccio and her crew will return home on Wednesday 26 February, having been away from home for over 6 months.
Speaking about his warship’s deployment, the Commanding Officer of ITS Libeccio, Commander Stefano Calvetti stated “We have been away from home for some time but everyone on board is fully aware that the work we have carried out has had a positive effect. Each one of my sailors has contributed to the free movement of trade and safety of seafarers at sea.”
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