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Suspected Pirates Chased & Apprehended in Somali Basin

November 20, 2017 - 01:41:26 UTC

Suspected Pirates Chased & Apprehended in Somali Basin After Firing on Container Ship

EU NAVFOR Somalia’s Flagship, the Italian warship, ITS Virginio Fasan, has apprehended six suspected pirates and seized their vessels, reports the Operation Atalanta command of EU NAVFOR..

Captured pirates by ITS Virginio Fasan helo Photo: EUNAVFOR

Six crew of a motor whaler, operating as a mother ship, and a skiff have been detained following attacks on a 52,000 tonne container ship and a fishing vessel. The events reportedly took place over a 24 hour period on 17 and 18 November in the Southern Somali Basin, in an area known for piracy incidents. During the incidents a number of rocket propelled grenades were fired against the container ship. However, adherence to BMP4, the presence of a security team on one of the vessels, and good seamanship avoided any damage or injuries, and all crew and vessels are now safe.

Suspect Pirates Spotted by ITS Virginio Fasan Helo Photo: EUNAVFORThe suspected pirates were apprehended by the Italian Marines from ITS Virginio Fasan after their vessels were located using Fasan’s SH-90 helicopter, following initial searches by the Spanish Maritime Patrol Aircraft Cisne. This search for the suspected pirates was coordinated with partners and from information provided by the masters of the vessels concerned. Positive visual verification was made which allowed this to take place.

A legal process has now begun for the suspected pirates to be transferred to the appropriate authority for prosecution. EU NAVFOR was able respond rapidly and successfully to these incidents due to the combined efforts of all involved, maximising synchronisation with all EU NAVFOR partners and forward deployed capabilities.

A reminder to all seafarers that adherence to BMP4 and registration with MSCHOA will help to overcome further illegal acts at sea. The presence of international counter-piracy forces in the area will continue to act as a deterrent to further incidents.

Additionally, a suspicious activity report occurred on 19 November in the Gulf of Aden near to Point Bravo of the IRTC (Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor), the area which suffered from a dramatic increase in ship hijacks between 2008 and 2010. A skiff approached a merchant vessel with a ladder sighted. The vessel increased speed and was able to evade any further incident [source: OCEANUSLive].


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Submitted by Team@oceanuslive.org

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