During the night of November 6, the EU NAVFOR warship SPS Infanta Cristina was attacked off the East coast of Somalia by a vessel identified as the MV IZUMI, a ship that had itself been pirated on 10 October.
The EU NAVFOR warship had been escorting the MV Petra 1, which had been chartered by the African Union Military Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), at the time. This is the first ever attack on an EU warship conducting an AMISOM escort.
During the incident, the Spanish warship increased speed and maneuvered immediately in order to place herself between MV Izumi and her escort. The attack was disrupted and the pirates fled the scene. Thanks to the quick reactions and efficiency of the Spanish crew, the attack was quickly foiled without injury or damage.
As the attack was carried out by a pirated merchant vessel with hostages onboard, the SPS Infanta Cristina had to defend herself and her escort with only minimal force in order not to endanger the lives of the hostages. After the attack, the warship and her escort continued toward Mombasa, Kenya, without further incident.
Since this operation was launched in December 2008, EU NAVFOR has conducted 86 World Food Program escorts and 71 escorts for AMISOM.