On October 10 two French fishing vessels in position approximately 160 nm North of Seychelles reported being under attack by pirate skiffs. The attacks were unsuccessful. EU NAVFOR reacted immediately and launched the Luxembourg Maritime Patrol Aircraft stationed at the Seychelles to investigate the area of the incident.
The EU NAVFOR Force Headquarters onboard EU NAVFOR Netherlands warship EVERTSEN contacted the Seychelles Coastguard, who had a patrol vessel operating 50nm from the incident.
The EU NAVFOR Luxembourg Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) located the pirate skiffs, two fast attack skiffs and one mother skiff, close to the position of the earlier attack on the French fishing vessels. The MPA directed the Seychelles Coastguard to the scene. On sight of the Coastguard vessel the two fast attack skiffs fled. The Seychelles Coastguard ship stopped and boarded the mother skiff with three persons onboard. The Seychelles Coastguard then followed in pursuit of the remaining fleeing skiffs.
One skiff suffered engine trouble leaving the suspected pirates with only one skiff.
While refueling the EU NAVFOR Luxembourg MPA the Seychelles MPA took over the task of tracking the suspected pirates. Early in the evening, after a long chase in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles Coastguard ship stopped the final skiff after firing warning shots and eight suspected pirates were taken onboard of the Seychelles Coastguard ship for questioning.
The EU NAVFOR Luxembourg Maritime Patrol Patrol aircraft was stationed in Seychelles earlier this month. This aircraft has in this short time proved to be a highly valuable asset in the fight against piracy in the Indian Ocean. The excellent cooperation between EU NAVFOR and Seychelles authorities is proving to be hugely successful against piracy in this region.