Successful international cooperation against piracyDecember 1, 2009 - 14:52
On the morning of 29 November 2009, 175 nautical miles east of Victoria, Seychelles a Spanish Fishing Vessel was attacked by pirates in two attack skiffs. Her embarked security team fired warning shots after which the pirates broke of their attack.
On indication of the attack Luxembourg EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft, operating from the Seychelles, was tasked to confirm the situation of the vessel and search for the pirate attack group. The Seychelles Coast Guard was informed by EU NAVFOR and immediately sent the Coast Guard vessel Andromache to the attack position. German EU NAVFOR warship FGS Bremen, at the moment of the attack loading gasoline in the port of Victoria, was tasked to search and neutralize the pirate attack group as soon as the loading was completed. Portuguese warship NRP Alvares Cabral of NATO, also in the area on counter piracy patrol, responded to participate in the search for the Pirate Attack Group.
In the afternoon the maritime patrol aircraft detected in the vicinity of the earlier attack a complete pirate attack group with one mother skiff and two attack skiffs. All units were directed to this position to intercept. The Seychelles Coastguard closest to the position boarded and secured the mother skiff and one attack skiff. A total of 4 suspected pirates were detained. The third skiff initially escaped the arrest but NRP Alvares Cabral successfully intercepted this skiff several hours later. The six suspected pirates on board were handed over to the Seychelles Coast Guard.
FGS Bremen and the Maritime Patrol Aircraft take part in the EUNAVFOR mission Operation ATALANTA. The main tasks of Operation ATALANTA are to escort merchant vessels carrying food of the ‘World Food Program’ (WFP), the protection of vulnerable ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy.
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