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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Seychelles News

New Passenger Ferry for Seychelles’ Inter Island Express

Photo: Incat Crowther

A new 30-meter aluminum passenger ferry Isle of la Digue built by Richardson Devine Marine is the latest vessel designed by Incat Crowther for the Seychelles operator Inter Island Express. The catamaran newbuild, which required a very shallow draft to afford access to the operator’s confined harbor berth, is the first to feature Incat Crowther’s new generation propeller tunnel to reduce propeller draft and offer a flat transom which can integrate with standard fixed or active interceptor systems, the designer said.

Combined Counter-Piracy Exercise Performed

EUCAP Nestor, EU Naval Force and the Seychelles Coast Guard carried out a joint counter-piracy exercise in the Seychelles on April 26. The exercise involved a mock interception of a suspected pirate skiff in Seychelles waters by the combined efforts of EU NAVFOR and the Seychelles Coast Guard. The Coast Guard vessel, Topaz, and a helicopter from French Navy ship, LHD Tonnerre, operating under EU NAVFOR flag, jointly intervened against a suspected pirate skiff. The purpose of the exercise was to enhance coordination and cooperation between the Seychelles Coast Guard and EU NAVFOR as well as further develop the Coast Guard in procedures for evidence handling. “This exercise was a perfect example of our partnership with the Seychelles and EU NAVFOR,” said Admiral Launay.

EU, Seychelles Complete Search and Rescue Exercise

On 26 September, the Seychelles Peoples Defense Force, Coast Guard and Air Force, together with the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta and EUCAP Nestor, carried out a search and rescue exercise in Seychelles waters. The operation was coordinated centrally by the Seychelles Coast Guard Maritime Operation Center and held in conjunction with the port visit of the Dutch EU NAVFOR flagship, HNLMS Johan de Witt, to the Seychelles. The EUCAP Nestor team in the Seychelles worked closely with the Coast Guard on the exercise and facilitated the liaison with EU NAVFOR.

EUCAP Nestor Head of Mission visits Seychelles

EUCAP Nestor visits Seychelles

On 4 and 5 December, EUCAP Nestor Head of Mission, Etienne de Poncins, visited EUCAP Nestor’s Country Office in the Seychelles. During his visit, he met several high officials to discuss the way ahead for the exemplary and successful cooperation between the Seychelles and the Mission. He also took part in the closing ceremony for the 2nd Basic Training Course for the Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) and officially handed over Maritime Safety equipment to the Seychelles Coast Guard as well as IT equipment to the Seychelles Air Force.

Seychelles Holds Coast Guard and Marine Police Training

Photo courtesy of EUCAP Nestor

Closing ceremonies for two training courses carried out by EUCAP Nestor in cooperation with authorities were held on November 14 in the Seychelles. After two weeks of training, 16 lieutenants and second lieutenants selected from different services of the Seychelles Defense Force (Coast Guard, Air Force and SPDF) received their certificates at a closing ceremony held at the Seychelles Coast Guard Academy on November 14 in the presence of the Commander of Seychelles Coast Guard, Lt Col Dine, and other Coast Guard officials.

EU NAVFOR, Seychelles CG Prevent Piracy

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.

INS Sarvekshak in Joint Hydrographic Survey with Tanzanian Navy

INS Sarvekshak. Photo: Indian Navy

In an initiative to bolster bilateral relations with friendly foreign countries and navies in the Indian ocean region, INS Sarvekshak, a hydrographic survey ship of Southern Naval Command, arrived at Dar-es-Salaam Tanzania on 15 November 2017 for undertaking joint  Hydrographic Survey along with the Tanzanian Navy. The joint survey will be conducted with the Naval personnel of Tanzania who have been trained in India in National Institute of Hydrography, Goa. During the survey, training of Tanzanian Naval personnel will also be undertaken on advanced hydrographic equipment and practices.

Costa Allegra Under Tow to Desroches Island

Costa Allegra: Credit Wikimedia CCL 'Yerpo'

The Seychelles Coast Guard confirms that a French purse seiner vessel reached the location of the Costa Allegra, and is towing the vessel towards Desroches island. The Seychelles authorities are making arrangements for the evacuation of passengers to Descroches, and their subsequent transfer to the island of Mahé. There are also two Seychelles Ports Authority tugs on their way to the vessel’s location, and they are expected to reach the Costa Allegra later. They will be…

India, Seychelles Ink Pacts on Maritime Security

Indian PM Narendra Modi with President James Michel of Seychelles (Pic: FB Modi Page)

India on Wednesday signed four agreements with the Indian Ocean island nation Seychelles to boost security and maritime partnership. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Seychelles President James Alix Michel and said Seychelles "is a vital partner in our Indian Ocean neighbourhood". The two nations signed four agreements for cooperation in hydrography, renewable energy, infrastructure development and hydrographic survey for maritime cooperation. Another important agreement is for infrastructure development in the Assumption Island.

Navy Handed Over Seychelles Ship Topaz After Refit

Topaz. Photo: Indian Navy

Seychelles Coast Guard Patrol Ship (SCGPS) Topaz has completed her Medium Refit and has been handed over to Colonel Simone A Dine, Commander Seychelles Coast Guard by Rear Admiral Narayan Prasad, NM, Admiral Superintendent, Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam on 16 February 2017. The ship underwent a Medium Refit at Naval Dockyard from March 2016 to January 2017. The event was held at Naval Jetty inside INS Circars and was attended by other dignitaries from Seychelles Coast Guard and Indian Navy.

Seychelles to Join India-led Maritime Security Alliance

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and the President of the Republic of Seychelles, James Alix Michel, witnessing the exchange of agreements, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi Photo: Press Information Bureau

Seychelles  said that Indian ocean region "belongs" to countries sharing maritime boundaries and said it was "actively" considering participating in a security framework for the strategic area involving India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, says a report in TNN. President James Alix Michel hailed India's role in curbing piracy and noted that the two countries have a "shared interest" in maritime security. Underlining the element "collective human security" in the maritime space, Michel…

Indian Warships Visit Port Victoria

Photos supplied by Indian Navy

In a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Seychelles and maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region, Indian Naval Ships Kolkata, Trikand and Aditya under the Command of the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Rear Admiral Ravneet Singh,NM have arrived at Port Victoria on a two day visit, says a government press release. INS Kolkata is commanded by Captain Rahul Vilas Gokhale, INS Trikand is commanded by Captain Arjun Dev Nair and INS Aditya is commanded by Captain Vidyanshu Srivastava.

Seychelles Conducts Oil Spill Exercise

A major exercise in implementing the national contingency plan for anti-pollution, search and rescue, and fire fighting was held in the waters off Mahé on 4 June. This complex exercise was carried out by a range of different agencies including the Seychelles Coast Guard, Air Force, Fire Fighting Services and Port Authority. The EUNAVFOR Atalanta Flagship Brandenburg also took part in the exercise, EUCAP Nestor experts provided support for the planning, preparations as well as its execution. The Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority and the Ministry of Environment and Energy  were also involved.

EU, Seychelles Conduct Counter-Piracy Exercise

On Friday 10 January, the Seychelles Coast Guard, Air Force and Police Force, together with the EU Naval Force Somalia - Operation Atalanta and EUCAP Nestor, carried out a counter-­piracy exercise in the Seychelles. The exercise involved the boarding of a suspected pirate skiff that had attacked a local fishing boat. The 'pirates' were disarmed and taken into custody, along with evidence from the skiff. The Seychelles Coast Guard then handed over the pirates and evidence to the Police Force.

Piracy – Seychelles to Prosecute Suspects

EU Naval Force welcomes decision by Seychelles Government to bring suspect Somali pirates before court The Republic of the Seychelles agreed to accept for prosecution 11 suspect pirates who were captured by EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) frigate HNLMS Van Amstel recently. The 11 suspect pirates had taken control of an Iranian dhow with 17 innocent Iranian fishermen onboard at the beginning of May and it is thought the dhow was probably related to an unsuccessful attack against  the merchant ship MV Super Lady. 
The suspects are expected to be handed over to the Seychelles authorities in the coming days.

Seychelles Hostage Rescue

Photo courtesy EU NAVFOR

The afternoon, March 29, the EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) from the Seychelles supported the Seychelles Coast Guard vessel Topaz to locate and apprehend a hijacked ship. Robust action from the Topaz ensured the release of 27 hostages: nine pirates have been captured. Early the morning of March 29, the EU NAVFOR Force Commander, Adm Giovanni Gumiero, tasked the Seychelles Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) to support the Seychelles Coast Guard vessel Topaz in an anti piracy operation against three hijacked ships.

EU NAVFOR, Seychelles Coast Guard Apprehend 16 Pirates

The Seychelles Coast Guard apprehended a total of 16 suspected pirates the last several days after being cued each time by two EU NAVFOR aircraft. On 18 November, the Seychelles Coast Guard successfully intercepted one whaler and one skiff, with five suspected pirates onboard. This first operation took place after the EU NAVFOR French E-3F SDCA aircraft was launched to search for a Pirate Action Group (PAG) that was suspected of carrying out two unsuccessful attacks on fishing vessels the previous day. When it arrived in the area, the aircraft spotted three suspicious radar contacts, which were then investigated by the EU NAVFOR Luxembourg Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA).

EU NAVFOR Transports Pirate Suspects for Prosecution

Five men apprehended by FS Siroco are transferred to the Seychelles police with the aim to prosecute them for acts of piracy.

Suspect Pirates Apprehended by EU Naval Force Flagship Transferred To The Seychelles. On 29 January 2014, international collaboration in the fight against piracy resulted in the transfer of five men by the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta flagship, FS Siroco, to the Republic of Seychelles, with the aim of prosecuting them for acts of piracy. On Saturday 18 January, FS Siroco, in cooperation with Japanese assets in support of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF/CTF 151)…

INS Shardul on Surveillance in South India Ocean

INS Shardul Entering Port Victoria  Photo: Indian Navy

In keeping with India’s national objective of ensuring a secure and stable regional environment to allow unhindered economic and social development, not just in India, but also in the Indian Ocean Region, Indian Naval Ship Shardul is on a two month long deployment in the South Indian Ocean with an aim to provide surveillance support in the region. The warship during the initial phase of deployment carried out joint EEZ surveillance of Mauritius from 08 – 26 March 2017 in close coordination with National Coast Guard, Mauritius.

Jailed Pirates Fired RPG's at Tanker 'For Fun' Said Defence

The Supreme Court of the Seychelles recently found 15 Somalis guilty of piracy and jailed them for up to 18 years. Judge Mohan Burhan rejected their defence that they were fishing and having fun as they fired rockets at a tanker in the Arabian Sea and that weapons – including assault rifles – which they dumped at sea when a surveillance helicopter appeared were only for their own protection, reports the 'Seychelles Nation'. Captain Stanislav Ususchev of the oil tanker MV Sunshine informed the court he saw a skiff approaching his vessel at 24 knots which caught up with the tanker in order to launch a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) towards the bridge.

Seychelles Island Learns to Protect the Golden Beaches

Seychelles CG Exercise: Photo EUCAP

A major exercise in implementing the national contingency plan for anti-pollution, search and rescue, and fire fighting has been held in the waters off Mahé, according to joint news from EUCAP Nestor & EUNAVFOR Atalanta. The scenario began with a mock distress call to the Coast Guard from a Seychelles flagged vessel that had collided with a ferry just off Glacis. The collision caused an oil leak and a fire on board the vessel. A number of crewmembers abandoned the ship as it started to sink.

EU Warship Provides Seychelles CG Training

Training aboard FGS Berlin: Photo EUCAP

EU Naval Force Warship 'FGS Berlin' has conducted local maritime capacity building in the Seychelles informs EUCAP Nestor. Three Local Maritime Capacity Building (LMCB) activities have taken place during EU Naval Force Warship FGS Berlin’s recent port visit to the Seychelles. LMCB are conducted by the European Union  to build the capacity of security forces of regional partners in the fight against piracy, supporting further training provided by EUCAP Nestor. First, firefighting training was conducted for the Seychelles Coast Guard.

Seychelles Coast Guard Begins Basic Training

Photo courtesy EUCAP Nestor

On Friday 24 January, the Basic Training Program for the Seychelles Coast Guard was officially inaugurated by the Chief of Staff of the Seychelles People’s Defense Forces, Colonel Clifford Roseline, the Acting Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Dine, and the Head of EUCAP Nestor, Etienne de Poncins. The Basic Training Program is a newly developed 27-week foundational training program for privates recently recruited to the Seychelles Coast Guard. There are 21 privates who have been selected to take part in the program.

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