Seven suspected pirates disrupted thanks to EU NAVFOR naval and air coordinationNovember 25, 2010 - 14:48
On 24 November, a joint operation between two EU NAVFOR aircraft and the EU NAVFOR warship FS SOMME enabled the disruption of seven suspected pirates.
The joint air mission, led on 24 November by the EU NAVFOR French aircraft “E-3F SDCA” and the EU NAVFOR Luxembourg aircraft “Merlin Fairchild SW3”, led to the location of a Pirate Action Group (PAG) approximately 280 nautical miles North-East of Mogadishu.
The Luxembourg aircraft, after a fly pass over the PAG, confirmed that this was a suspect mother ship operating with an attack skiff.
The French warship FS SOMME, within a few days of joining the EU NAVFOR Operation, was patrolling the area and moved to intercept the two suspect craft. When approached by FS SOMME, the pirate mother-ship increased speed. However, FS SOMME fired warning shots and was able to successfully intercept the whaler, with 7 suspected pirates onboard. The attack skiff fled the scene, with two suspected pirates onboard.
As there was insufficient evidence to pursue a prosecution, the piracy paraphernalia were confiscated, the whaler destroyed, and the seven suspected pirates were returned to Somalia. This disruption has hampered pirate action and is assessed to have prevented attacks on merchant and other vulnerable vessels.
EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (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. In addition, EU NAVFOR monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
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