Todays boarding of a suspected pirate skiff once again showed that the proactive tactics of the European Unions Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) are having increased success.
Todays boarding of a suspected pirate skiff once again showed that the proactive tactics of the European Unions Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) are having increased success. These tactics have been used in the Indian Ocean and along the east coast of Somalia to such good effect that they are now being employed within the Gulf of Aden.
EU NAVFOR Force Commander Rear Admiral (LH) Jan Thörnqvist insists that these proactive tactics of disrupting and suppressing acts of piracy close to the Somali northern coast, is also a way of increasing the security for the merchant vessels in the IRTC.
In the early hours of Friday 18 June, an EU NAVFOR Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft from Germany clearly identified a suspected pirate skiff with ladders onboard. The EU NAVFOR warship HNLMS JOHAN DE WITT was tasked to move to the area.
At 0910 local time the JOHAN DE WITT located the suspect skiff. After being given several warnings the skiff failed to stop and so warning shots were fired. On realising that they were going to be apprehended the occupants of the skiff threw ladders and weapons overboard. During the subsequent boarding and search of the skiff it was deemed that there was not the required level of evidence in order to prosecute the individuals, however they are being questioned.
EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTAs main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Programme (WFP) and vessels of African Unions Mission for Somalia, AMISOM and to protect vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.