EU NAVFOR Boards Suspected Pirate Skiff

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

On the morning of 3 Oct, whilst conducting a patrol in the Gulf of Aden, EU NAVFOR Belgian warship Louise-Marie intercepted a distress call from a merchant vessel transiting in the Gulf of Aden. The merchant vessel reported a skiff, a small boat regularly used by pirates, approaching to 300 meters.

The helicopter of EUNAVFOR Belgian Warship Louise-Marie was immediately launched to investigate and it arrived at the scene, the skiff took off at speed from the merchant vessel. Due to the suspicious behavior of the skiff the EUNAVFOR Belgian warship Louise-Marie was ordered to board the skiff.

The skiff, took off at great speed and refused to stop when ordered to do so by Louise-Marie. The helicopter of the Louise-Marie fired two bursts of warning shots with their on-board machine gun after which the skiff stopped and was subsequently boarded for a thorough search. 

Although no weapons or ladders were found, 13 fuel drums were discovered. The skiff’s crew stated that they were fisherman but no fishing material was found. They were warned about high speed approaches to merchant vessels and then released to continue on their way.

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