EU NAVFOR ATALANTA assists a merchant vessel in distress due to a blackout

Jul 22, 2022 - 13:08

After a complete propulsion and power plant failure, the vessel was dead in the water without food or fresh water.

ESPS NUMANCIA took MV ANATOILAN in tow to the port of Bosasso, Somalia.


On 19 July 2022, EU NAVFOR ATALANTA received a request for assistance to a ship in distress from the Somali Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. At the same time, ATALANTA assets were granted permission to enter Somali territorial waters.

For about a week, the MV ANATOLIAN was dead in water in heavy seas in the Gulf of Aden, north of Puntland coast. Earlier, a commercial tugboat refused to assist her due to adverse weather conditions and the state of the sea. Attempts by the crew and a navy ship to repair the engine and electricity system failed and in the meantime, ATALANTA unit ESPS NUMANCIA and another international naval unit provided food and drinking water to the MV ANATOLIAN crew.

On 21 July, ESPS NUMANCIA started to tow the ro-ro-ship MV ANATOLIAN to the Somali port of Bosasso. This EU NAVFOR asset began the operation after the improvement of sea conditions. On 22 July, during the morning, they arrived in Bosasso. The ATALANTA ship made a smooth transfer of responsibilities to the Port Authorities. During the towing operation, ESPS NUMANCIA maintained permanent communication with the Federal and local Somali authorities.

This operation provides clear evidence of EU NAVFOR ATALANTA commitment with the safety and security of seafarers and our support to the government of Somalia.

Operation Atalanta operates in a crucial area for world trade and maintains the freedom of navigation, which is the foundation for the welfare of population in the region and the whole world.