Operation Atalanta's First Pirate Engagement

Dec 27, 2008 - 09:42
The German frigate FDS KARLSRUHE assisted a 65,000 tonne Egyptian bulk carrier in fighting off a pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden yesterday morning. This engagement was initiated after the MV WADI AL ARAB made an emergency call for assistance after coming under attack at 1100 local time on the morning of the 25 December 08.

The KARLSRUHE's helicopter was launched and fired warning shots to deter the attack which was abandoned. The pirates were then stopped and their arms and equipment were throw into the sea.

After the rescue a merchant seaman, who suffered a gun shot wound to the leg during the attack, was transferred to the KARLSRUHE for medical treatment and then flown ashore to hospital where his condition is described as stable.

This was the first engagement a EUNAVFOR vessel has been involved in since Operation Atalanta was launched 2 weeks ago, and demonstrates how good communication combined with prompt and robust action can thwart piracy attacks.

The KARLSRUHE, one of 8 Type 122 Class frigates, joined Operation Atalanta last Friday as part of Germany's contribution to the EU NAVFOR mission deployed off the coast of Somalia.