European Union Naval Force News

19 Jul 2019

Operation Atalanta Welcomes ESPS Canarias

Image: EUNAVFOR

European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia officially welcomed the ESPS Canarias as she began her most recent deployment with Operation Atalanta.The ESPS Canarias will sail with Operation Atalanta alongside the ITS Marceglia from the end of July 2019 until early November 2019, countering piracy and monitoring fishing activity off the Somali coast.Spain continues to show its commitment to the defense of international rights in the Area of Operations and has contributed naval assets…

15 Jul 2019

INTERTANKO Director Visits EU NAVFOR

 Photo: EU NAVFOR

Operation Atalanta Operation Headquarters (OHQ) welcomed a visit from Phillip Belcher, Marine Director at the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), as part of key EU NAVFOR relations with the shipping industry at a strategic level.Operation Atalanta, formally European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia, said in a press release that Belcher visited to hold a meeting regarding the latest developments in counter-piracy operations and the last incidents in the Indian Ocean.The meeting was chaired by Operation Atalanta’s Deputy Commander…

19 Oct 2018

Ship's Guards Repel Pirate Attack off Somalia Coast

© Erwin Willemse / MarineTraffic.com

Security guards aboard a Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship repelled an attack by pirates in a gunbattle off Somalia's coast this week, the European naval force in the region said on Friday.It was only the second reported attempt by Somali pirates to seize a commercial ship this year, after a resurgence of attacks in 2017 following years of relative calm brought about by regular patrols of the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVOR).On Tuesday, pirates approached and opened fire at the Hong Kong-flagged MV KSL Sydney freighter 340 nautical miles off Somalia…

31 Jul 2018

EU Okays Operation Atalanta HQ Move to Spain

Photo: EU NAVFOR Somalia

The headquarters of the EU’s anti-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia will be moved from the UK to Spain next year as EU leaders revealed the latest consequence of Brexit."EU NAVFOR confirms that following the decision from the Council of the European Union the mandate of Operation ATALANTA will continue until 31 December 2020," said a press release. EU NAVFOR Somalia, also known as Operation Atalanta, is a current counter-piracy military operation at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean…

04 Apr 2018

Houthis Attack Saudi Oil Tanker

© Anatoly Menzhiliy / Adobe Stock

An attack on a Saudi tanker by Yemen's Houthis will not hit oil supplies, Saudi Arabia's energy minister said on Wednesday, after the Iran-allied group said it had targeted a warship in response to an air strike that killed civilians. The Western-backed, Saudi-led coalition which includes other Sunni Muslim states says the Houthis attacked the oil tanker off Yemen's main port of Hodeidah on Tuesday. The Houthis, however, say they targeted a coalition warship in response to an air strike on Hodeidah on Monday that killed at least a dozen civilians, including seven children.

23 Feb 2018

Pirates Attack Chemical Tanker off Somalia

Picture courtesy of http://www.shipspotting.com and lk.lv/en/lsc-shipmanagement/EU Navfor

Suspected Somali pirates attacked a Singaporean-flagged chemical tanker on Friday but were repelled by guards on board, the European Union's Naval force said, the first such incident in several months. EU Navfor said in a statement the 50,000 metric tonne MT Leopard Sun was sailing from Sohar in Oman to Cape Town, South Africa, when it was attacked by two skiffs 160 nautical miles (295 km) off the coast of Somalia. "The skiffs approached from the stern and fired upon her, after which the on-board Private Armed Security Team returned fire with warning shots," EU Navfor said.

25 Jan 2018

New Marine Security Recommendations for Southern Red Sea

BIMCO's Head of Maritime Security raise some keys points before ships navigate in this region. Photo: BIMCO Video

In response to the threats arising from the conflict in Yemen, BIMCO, ICS and INTERTANKO have published interim guidance on maritime security in the southern Red Sea and Bab al-Mandeb. Shipowners and operators should be aware of new threat patterns in the area. The European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) have advised that a range of threats other than piracy, such as sea mines and water-borne improvised explosive devices (WBIEDs), are potential risks in the area.

24 Jan 2018

Yemen Conflict Forces New Security Recommendations

An EUNAVFOR vessel at sea on patrol (EU Navfor)

In response to the threats arising from the conflict in Yemen, BIMCO, ICS and INTERTANKO have published interim guidance on maritime security in the southern Red Sea and Bab al-Mandeb. Shipowners and operators should be aware of new threat patterns in the area. The European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) have advised that a range of threats other than piracy, such as sea mines and water-borne improvised explosive devices (WBIEDs), are potential risks in the area.

25 Oct 2017

Coalition Forces Render Aid to an Iranian Fishing Vessel

Official U.S. Navy file photo.

In coordination with the European Union Naval Force and the Turkish-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, which is a part of the Combined Maritime Forces, the U.S. Navy provided assistance to an Iranian fishing vessel after a reported piracy attack Oct. 24, south of Socotra, Yemen. The Iranian coast guard called U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) to report the incident and seek assistance for the fishing vessel. NAVCENT coordinated with the European Union Naval Force, who sent a patrol aircraft to investigate the incident. The U.S.

27 Jun 2017

Explosion on Ship off Somalia Coast

Flames seen rising from vessel after blast; port residents believe vessel may be foreign. A huge explosion was heard from a ship off the coast of Somalia's Puntland region late on Monday and flames were seen rising from what might be a foreign vessel, an official in a nearby port said. "We heard (a) huge explosion and (saw) flame rising from the ship. I believe that the ship is foreign," Ali Shire, mayor of Puntland's port town of Alula, a pirate haven, told Reuters on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear whether the explosion was caused by an accident onboard the vessel or was triggered by pirate attackers. It was also not clear whether the vessel was still afloat or had sunk.

24 Jan 2017

MASS continues to support Maritime Anti-piracy Operations

Boarding team from EU Naval Force combat support warship FGS BERLIN stops a suspicious skiff. Photo courtesy Operation Atalanta

The European Council has extended the mandate for European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) - Operation ATALANTA - until 31 December 2018, which means Cohort company MASS will continue to provide the Classified Mission Network for the enduring Operation. Operation ATALANTA was launched in December 2008 to contribute to the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast. The operation also protects vessels of the World Food Programme and other vulnerable shipping…

15 Sep 2016

Britain: EU Mission Should Turn Back Migrant Boats

A European Union naval force deployed in the Mediterranean should turn back migrant boats after they leave Libya and prevent them from reaching Italy, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday. Italy is on the frontline of Europe's migrant crisis, taking in more than 400,000 refugees over the past three years, many of them saved from rickety boats pushed out to sea by people smugglers based in north Africa. The European Union launched Operation Sophia in 2015 in response to the crisis, with a mandate to disrupt the people trafficking networks and destroy smugglers' boats. Johnson said part of the mission's work was to return boats back to shore after they had put to sea.

27 Apr 2016

France to Help Libya with Naval Security

Image: French Navy

France has expressed its willingness to help Libya’s new unity government with maritime security as the fledgling administration seeks to assert its authority over the chaos-wracked country, reports AFP. "We must wait for [Libyan] Prime Minister [Fayez Sarraj] to tell us what security measures should be taken and what he intends to get from the international community to ensure the maritime security of Libya," French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said. On Monday, it was agreed at a meeting of US…

10 Sep 2015

Collective Effort Keeps Piracy at Bay, Risks Remain

Major General Martin Smith addresses senior shipping industry representatives earlier this week (Photo: Port2Port Maritime)

Though the maritime sector has seen a decline in Somali piracy in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, there is no room for complacency regarding the ongoing threat, says EU Naval Force Operation Commander, Major General Martin Smith MBE. Addressing senior shipping industry representatives at breakfast meeting earlier this week, Smith credited the ‚Äėcollective effort‚Äô of shipping companies and dedicated naval forces for the reduction in pirate attacks since 2012. However, while the opportunity for pirates to get out to sea and attack ships had reduced‚Ķ

09 Sep 2015

Collective Efforts Helped Curtail Piracy Attacks

EU COUNTER-PIRACY OPERATION ATALANTA EXTENDED TO END OF 2016

At a breakfast meeting earlier today with senior shipping industry representatives, the EU Naval Force Operation Commander, Major General Martin Smith MBE, stated that whilst Somali-based piracy in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden is suppressed, there is no room for complacency regarding the ongoing threat. Major General Smith welcomed the significant reduction in pirate attacks since 2012, stating that this had been achieved by the ‚Äėcollective effort‚Äô of shipping companies and dedicated naval forces, including the European Union Naval Force.

08 Mar 2015

Taiwan Ship Carrying 49 Crew Missing in South Atlantic

Pic: Fishing port in Taiwan (By Fisheries Agency)

A Taiwanese ship carrying 49 crew, including Filipinos and Indonesians, has vanished in the remote South Atlantic Ocean without any sign of a mayday call but shortly after its skipper reported it was taking on water. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said that it has been helping with efforts to search for the ship. The Hsiang Fu Chun, a 700-tonne squid fishing vessel, lost contact with its owners "soon" after reporting that water was leaking on to the deck at around 3:00 am on February 26, officials said.

31 Dec 2014

Croatia Now Protecting World Food Program Vessel

Photo: EU Naval Force

After three months of operating with the European Union Naval Force, a maritime protection team from Serbia handed over its World Food Program (WFP) vessel protection duties to Croatia. The handover ceremony took place on December 28, 2014, in Djibouti. The Serbian team has spent the past three months embarked in WFP vessel, MV MSM Douro, providing protection at sea from pirate attacks along the Somali coast. Members of the Croatian Forces will be embarked in MV MSM Douro for up to four months. Since the EU Naval Force began protecting WFP vessels in 2009, none have been attacked or pirated.

20 Jan 2014

Cargo Ship Mistakenly Thought Pirates Boarding

Arrested ship: Photo courtesy of the owners

Eritrean forces in the Red Sea have boarded a merchant vessel that was in their territorial waters in an incident the crew initially reported as a pirate attack, reports Reuters. It was not immediately clear why the forces boarded the ship, the MV Marzooqah, and it was not  possible to contact authorities in Eritrea, one of Africa's most isolated nations. Reuters quotes Lieutenant Commander Jacqueline Sherriff, spokeswoman for the European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) as saying that the vessel was thought by them now to in the hands of the Eritrean forces.

17 Jan 2014

Bauzá Takes Command at EU NAVFOR

Outgoing DCOM Rear Admiral Martens shakes hands with incoming DCOM Rear Admiral Bauz√° as the Operational HQ staff applaud (Photo courtesy EU NAVFOR)

On 17 January 2014, Rear Admiral Jean Martens (German Navy) handed over the role of Deputy Operation Commander (DCOM) of the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia ‚Äď Operation Atalanta to Rear Admiral Bartolomé Bauzá (Spanish Navy). The handover took place at the Operation Headquarters (OHQ) in Northwood, London. Rear Admiral Martens joined the Operation in July 2013. On leaving the OHQ he was applauded by the staff of EU NAVFOR for his hard work and efforts. He returns to Germany to resume his command of the German Flotilla 1.

11 Nov 2013

RFA Lyme Bay Onboard Rope Training

Photo: EU NAVFOR

Onboard RFA Lyme Bay, which is part of European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta, the Boarding teams from the Fleet Contingency Troop and K Company 43 Commando Royal Marines have taken advantage of the Lynx MK 8 that embarked from RFA Fort Austin to practice fast roping techniques. Each stick of the boarding team conducted three separate fast roping exercises, each from different heights and to a different location on Lyme Bay: from the flight deck up to the forecastle.

13 Jun 2013

Singapore at Heart of Counter Piracy Worldwide

For the third time in nearly five years, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has stepped down from a three-month command of the multi-national Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, after coordinating operations to deter and disrupt maritime organized crime in the Gulf of Aden as part of international counter-piracy efforts. The fact that there were no successful hijacking incidents in the CTF 151's area of responsibility during Singapore’s naval leadership is only part of the story of its success.

25 Feb 2013

Nine Suspected Pirates Transferred to Seychelles

On Monday 25 February Dutch EU Naval Force frigate HNLMS De Ruyter transferred nine suspected pirates to the Seychelles authorities for prosecution. The transfers happened after HNLMS De Ruyter, who was conducting counter piracy patrols, stopped two skiffs on 19 February 120 nautical miles off the Somali Coast and apprehended nine suspected pirates on board. During the operation, helicopters from both HNLMS De Ruyter and EU Naval Force flagship ESPS Mendez Nunez, together with the Spanish EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA), were able to locate the two skiffs and in a combined effort, stop them in the water approximately 200 nautical miles north east of Eyl.

07 Nov 2012

Leisure Craft Warned to Keep Clear of Piracy Hotspots

EUNAVFOR Logo

European Union Naval Force Commander reminds yacht & leisure craft owners piracy still a danger in Gulf of Aden & Indian Ocean. Rear Admiral Potts who is the operation commander of the European Union‚Äôs counter piracy mission (EU NAVFOR) off the coast of Somalia reminds the yachting and leisure craft community that whilst pirate attacks have reduced off the Horn of Africa over the past year, the threat of piracy remains and owners should continue to avoid transiting the High Risk Area ‚Äď the southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Western part of the Indian Ocean.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News