In the morning of 22 august, a Japanese maritime patrol aircraft detected and reported a suspect skiff in the Gulf of Aden, some 80 nm east of Aden. The aircraft observed seven persons on board, a ladder and large amounts of fuel. The skiff was approximately five nm away from passing merchant vessels. The Norwegian EU NAVFOR warship HNOMS Fridtjof Nansen reacted immediately and set course to the suspect skiff, launching her two fast rhibs to prepare for boarding. The Netherlands EU NAVFOR warship HNLMS Evertsen immediately launched her helicopter to close and follow the skiff until arrival of the Norwegian fast rhibs.
When the skiff tried to get away, HNLMS Evertsen’s helicopter fired warning shots to stop the skiff. On observing the shots the skiff stopped and was subsequently boarded by Fridtjof Nansen’s boarding team.
Due to the lack of positive evidence of a pirate attack the skiff and its crew were finally released. The discovered ladders, rifles and rocket propelled grenades were seized and disposed of.