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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Suspected Pirates News

EU NAVFOR Warship Disrupts Suspected Pirate Whaler

Photo courtesy EUNAVFOR

On the afternoon of 3 April 2011, the EU NAVFOR Spanish warship ESPS Infanta Elena, identified and boarded a suspected pirate whaler 89 Nautical miles South-East of Mombasa. The warship had received a short notice tasking to locate a suspected Pirate Action Group (PAG) that had attacked a merchant vessel earlier the same day. On arriving in the area, the Infanta Elena found a whaler-type boat, which together with two attack skiffs, was suspected of being responsible for the earlier attack.

EU NAVFOR Disrupts Another Suspected Pirate Action Group

Photo courtesy EUNAVFOR

During the early morning of April 6, the EU NAVFOR Finnish warship FNS PohjanMAA identified a suspected Pirate Action Group (PAG) consisting of a dhow and two attack skiffs approximately 250 NM South East of Salalah, Oman. The PAG is believed to have been responsible for an unsuccessful attack on a merchant vessel in the area the day before. When Pohjanmaa approached the PAG, the dhow tried to flee the scene and the suspected pirates were observed throwing equipment overboard. The Pohjanmaa was forced to fire warning shots to stop the dhow.

NATO Counter-piracy Frigate Boards Pirate Skiff

Photo: NATO

NATO’s counter-piracy Operation Ocean Sheild warship UPS Hetman Sagaidachny of Ukraine boarded a skiff with seven suspected pirates aboard in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC). As the Ukrainian boarding team approached, the skiff tried to escape and suspected pirates were observed throwing weapons overboard, including AK-47 assault rifles. The skiff had 16 barrels of fuel and multiple outboard engines characteristic of a pirate action group. The suspected pirates surrendered without resistance.

Piracy – Warship Frees Captives off Somalia Coast

Pirate Ship Boarded: Photo credit EUNAVFOR

The EU Naval Force Flagship ESPS Patino located a Yemeni registered dhow that was suspected of being involved in acts of piracy off the Somali coast. The previous day a merchant vessel had reported that it had evaded an attack by two skiffs. As she was close by, ESPS Patino was tasked to investigate the scene, and when her helicopter arrived, it located a capsized skiff, with suspected pirates embarking onto the Yemini dhow. The dhow was confirmed as a suspected mother ship, previously observed at a pirate anchorage. Authorisation was given for a team from Patino to board the dhow.

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.

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).

Combined Forces Intercepts Somali Pirates

Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

The Flagship of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, USS Farragut (DDG 99), intercepted suspected pirates in the Somali Basin on April 1. The Sierra Leone-flagged tanker MV Evita came under attack 500 km north-west of the Seychelles by three suspected pirate skiffs. During the attack, the pirates fired rifles and aimed rocket propelled grenades at the vessel in an attempt to force it to stop. The MV Evita was able to evade attack by adopting industry recommended best management practices; increasing its speed and firing flares at the pirates to warn them off.

EU NAVFOR Destroys More Suspect Pirate Skiffs

Photo courtesy EU NAVFOR

EU NAVFOR units operating in the Somali Basin, between the Seychelles and the Somali coast, have discovered more suspected pirate activity. In an area close to the disruption of five pirate attack groups by EU NAVFOR, EU NAVFOR German warship FGS Emden intercepted a suspect pirate group consisting of a mother ship and two skiffs. The pirate mother ship was first detected in the late hours of 11 March by the EU NAVFOR Luxemburg Patrol aircraft who directed the EU NAVFOR German warship Emden onto the pirate group.

USS Ashland Captures Pirates

Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

At approximately 5:00 a.m. local time April 10, USS Ashland (LSD 48), was fired upon by a skiff manned by suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden, approximately 330 nautical miles off the coast of Djibouti. During the attack, Ashland received small arms fire on the port side from the six man crew of suspected pirates aboard the skiff. Ashland, in accordance with her rules of engagement, returned fire. USS Ashland fired two rounds at the skiff from her MK-38 Mod 2, 25mm gun. The skiff caught fire and the suspected pirates abandoned the skiff.

Somali Pirate Craft Sunk by EU NAVFOR Warship

ROS Regele Ferdinand: Photo credit EU NAVFOR

Warships hunt down pirate skiff off the coast of Somalia, take 9 suspected pirates into custody and sink their boat. Romanian frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand, under command of the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) worked in close co-operation with Turkish warship TCG Gemlik of Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) to apprehended nine suspected pirates at sea off the coast of Somalia. In the early hours of the morning, Swedish EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft located the suspicious skiff at sea 420 nautical miles east of Mogadishu.

Navy Seizes Suspected Pirate Ship

The Norfolk, Va.-based USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) seized a suspected pirate ship 87 km (54 nm) off the coast of Somalia. The Navy says the vessel stopped 54 miles off the coast of Somalia after the Churchill fired warning shots. U-S sailors boarded the ship and confiscated small arms. The ship (a dhow) is suspected of having fired on a merchant vessel passing off the coast of Somalia. There were 16 Indians and 10 Somalis aboard the dhow, along with various small arms. The Navy says U.S. sailors boarded the suspected pirate ship in the Indian Ocean and detained the 26 men for questioning. Sailors aboard the pirate ship told Navy investigators that pirates hijacked their vessel six days ago near Mogadishu and used it to stage attacks on merchant ships.

EU NAVFOR, Seychelles Coastguard Cooperation

In the evening of December 6, approximately 250 nautical miles North West of Victoria Seychelles a pirate attack group was neutralized by EU NAVFOR and the Seychellois Coast Guard. On December 5th an EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft, stationed at the Seychelles, located a suspected pirate attack group with one mother skiff and two attack skiffs. EU NAVFOR French warship FS Floreal was tasked to close the group and the Seychellois Coast Guard also responded to the request by sending their patrol vessel Topaz. At first light, EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft relocated the suspected pirated attack group and directed both vessels to that position. On arrival of the Coast Guard vessel, the helicopter of FS Floreal assisted the Topaz crew with the intercept and securing the area.

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.

Pirates Disrupted by EU NAVFOR, Seychelles

On Saturday evening, 29 of May, the Seychelles Coast Guard disrupted a Pirate Action Group, including a mother ship with nine suspected pirates on board and two fast attack skiffs, after being led to the target by an EU NAVFOR maritime patrol aircraft from the Swedish Coast Guard. On last Thursday, 27 May, an EU NAVFOR maritime patrol aircraft from the Swedish Coast Guard spotted a suspected Pirate Action Group (PAG) about 500 nautical miles east of the Somali coast. The PAG consisted of one whaler and two skiffs. At that time, no units were close enough to verify and control the vessels. On Saturday morning, the PAG was relocated some 250 nautical miles northeast of the Seychelles.

EU NAVFOR Prevents Pirate Attack, Somali Basin

On October 13, 2009, a helicopter from the EU NAVFOR German warship Bremen, identified suspected pirate craft in the Somali Basin. The suspect craft were made up of a mother skiff and two smaller skiffs, near the islands of Seychelles. The EU NAVFOR helicopter fired warning shots and the skiffs stopped. The crew from the helicopter observed that the suspected pirates threw a number of items over board. A boarding party from the German warship found on the skiff grappling hooks, ammunition, GPS and 10 barrels of fuel. The skiffs had no fishing equipment onboard and after confiscating the suspected pirate equipment the mother skiff and crew were released.

EU NAVFOR Arrests Pirate Attackers of Fishing Vessel

Late in the evening of 3 October, two of the suspected pirates who gained control of the Spanish tuna fishing vessel Alakrana the day before, were arrested by the EU NAVFOR Spanish warship Canarias. The suspected pirates had left the Alakrana with a small boat that was detected and stopped by the EU NAVFOR warship. During the arrest, one of the pirates was lightly injured, but he was given immediate medical treatment by the doctor onboard EU NAVFOR Canarias and his condition is stable. Both suspected pirates are now on board Canarias. The hijacked Spanish fishing vessel Alakrana has anchored of the coast of Somalia.

Suspected Pirates Apprehended

The guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) apprehended six suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden on March 20 after responding to a distress call from two nearby merchant vessels. At approximately 4:30 a.m., the Philippines-flagged Motor Vessel Bison Express sent a distress call to all ships in the area reporting they were being pursued by a small skiff containing six heavily-armed suspected pirates. Gettysburg closed immediately on the motor vessel's location and intercepted a skiff matching the description given by the crew of the motor vessel.

Suspected Pirates Apprehended

The crew of the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) apprehended seven suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden Feb. 11 after responding to a distress call from a nearby merchant vessel. The event marks the first time CTF-151 has apprehended suspected pirates. The Marshall Islands-flagged Motor Vessel Polaris sent a distress call to all ships in the area reporting that a small skiff containing seven suspected pirates had attempted a forcible boarding of their vessel using a ladder. Polaris crewmembers removed the ladder before pirates could come aboard.

EU NAVFOR Disrupts Suspected Pirate Group

Photo courtesy EU NAVFOR

On March 5, an EU NAVFOR aircraft and the EU NAVFOR French warship FS Nivose disrupted a suspected pirate whaler off the Somali coast. The whaler was suspected of leading a Pirate Action Group (PAG) at the time of the incident. On the morning of March 4, a merchant vessel reported being chased by one skiff about 350 Nautical Miles south of Mogadishu. In response, the EU NAVFOR warship FS Nivose was immediately ordered to locate and disrupt the suspected PAG responsible for the incident.

French Warship Disrupts Pirate Attack Group

Photo courtesy EU NAVFOR

During the afternoon of the 13 May, the EU NAVFOR French warship FS Nivôse disrupted a Dhow that was suspected of being used as a Pirate Action Group (PAG) mothership since it was pirated over a year ago. The Dhow, which is suspected of having carried out several recent attacks in the Arabian Sea and which still has her original crew on board as hostages, was spotted by an EU NAVFOR German Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) earlier the same day. Once identified, the Dhow was tracked by the MPRA which guided the FS Nivôse into position.

U.S. Navy Ships Return Fire on Suspected Pirates

From U.S. An armed suspected pirate looks over the edge of a skiff, in international waters off the coast of Somalia. USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) prepared to board the suspicious vessel. The vessel’s crew members opened fire on the U.S. Navy ships and the ships’ crew members returned fire. One suspect was killed and 12 were taken into custody. Coalition forces conduct maritime security operations to ensure security and safety in international waters so legitimate mariners can operate freely while transiting the region. U.S. ABOARD USS CAPE ST. GEORGE, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Cape St. George (CG 71) and USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) returned fire on a group of suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean…

Spanish Warship Disrupts Suspected Pirates

Photo courtesy EU NAVFOR

Early on the morning of 28 March, the Seychellois flagged fishing vessel reported that a whaler and a skiff had approached her in a suspicious manner with automatic weapons and a Rocket Propelled Grenade(RPG) clearly visible. The EUNAVFOR warship immediately made her way to the scene and launched her SH-60B helicopter to investigate further. After two attempts by the Whaler to flee the scene, the helicopter was forced to fire warning shots in front of the vessel to make it stop.

UPDATE: EU NAVFOR Disrupts Suspected Pirates in Gulf of Aden

Photo courtesy EU NAVFOR

Further analysis of the approach by a suspected pirate skiff to the MV EJNAN in the Gulf of Aden on 19 Jun indicates that the initial assessment that a pirate attack was underway was incorrect and that the VHF call made by the ship was not a distress call. EU NAVFOR regrets any misinterpretation of the situation and thanks the Master of the MV EJNAN for reporting the location of the skiff which resulted in the suspect pirates being apprehended and their piracy paraphernalia being removed.

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