EU NAVFOR Stays Busy to Ensure No Safe Haven for Pirates


EU Naval Force and Combined Task Force 151 Work Together to Ensure No Safe Haven for Pirates In Indian Ocean

Romanian frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand, under command of the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) worked in close co-operation with Turkish warship TCG Gemlik of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) to apprehended nine suspected pirates at sea off the coast of Somalia.

In the early hours of the morning, Swedish EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft located the suspicious skiff at sea 420 nautical miles east of Mogadishu.  Counter piracy forces in the area were quickly alerted, and being the two closest warships, both TCG Gemlik and ROS Regele Ferdinand made haste to the area to investigate, as the Luxembourg EU NAVFOR patrol aircraft maintained visual coverage from the air.

Once at the scene, TCG Gemlik sent a boarding team to search the suspect vessel, which had tried, unsuccessfully, to evade capture for over an hour.   In an excellent demonstration of co-operation between the 2 counter-piracy forces, ROS Regele Ferdinand then embarked the suspect pirates on to the Romanian frigate for further questioning and evidence collection in order to fully assess the possibility of  prosecution of the nine suspects.

After gathering intelligence, the skiff was destroyed, thus preventing the suspect pirates from using it to attack ships in the future.

Speaking about this latest successful operation to deny suspect pirates the ability to operate at sea, Rear Admiral Potts, who is the Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force said

“I am delighted that through the combined efforts of counter-piracy forces in the region, once again, suspect pirates, who ventured out to sea in an attempt to hijack merchant ships and their crews in the Indian Ocean, have quickly been found and their vessel destroyed.  As I said in October, we knew, as the monsoon period ended that pirates would try their luck at sea and this is why we have constantly warned against complacency.  Once again, my message to the pirates is clear – we are watching you and we plan to capture you if you put to sea.  Equally, this is an indication that pirates still intend to get out to sea and all involved in countering piracy, whether they are the military or industry, must remain vigilant and prepared.”

EU Naval Force Warship FS Dupleix Provides Assistance to Yemeni Dhow

During the night on 21 November, French warship FS Dupleix, operating as part of the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) – Operation Atalanta, was patrolling along the northern coast of Somalia, when she was directed by the EU NAVFOR flagship to provide assistance to a Yemeni dhow – ‘Al Fahad’.  The dhow had suffered engine failure and was drifting in a busy shipping lane in the waters of the Gulf of Aden.

FS Dupleix quickly reached the dhow’s location and the warship’s boarding team went to investigate, together with the ship’s doctor and an engineering Petty Officer.   After inspecting the engine, the French team managed to repair it; whilst the doctor provided medical assistance and food to the tired, but very relieved crew.  Afterwards, the dhow got underway en-route to her next port.  FS Dupleix monitored the dhow for a few hours to ensure it was able to proceed safely at sea.

The assistance operation was another excellent example of how information is shared amongst the varying Task Forces operating in the area.  The distress call from the ‘Al Fahad’ was received in Bahrain by US Naval Forces Central Command.  The dhow was then visually identified by a Japanese Maritime Patrol Aircraft.  Next a helicopter from Singaporean frigate RSS Intrepid overflew the dhow and confirmed that the vessel was in distress and in a dangerous location.  Following this the EU NAVFOR Force Commander, on board ITS San Giusto, patrolling near the south-eastern coast of Somalia, directed FS Dupleix to sail to the dhow’s position and provide urgent assistance.


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