The ECSA delegation met with the EU NAVFOR’s team to discuss the current state of piracy off the coast of Somalia, also visiting the naval assets participating in Operation Atalanta. EU NAVFOR is committed to deter, prevent, and suppress piracy and also highlight that the Maritime Industry must continue to adhere to BMP measures in order to maximize the safety of the ships and crews whilst transiting the high-risk area.
The European Union decided to suspend, until 30 September, the EUNAVFOR MED ‘Operation Sophia’, which is deployed to rescue thousands of refugees and migrants from the central Mediterranean route. Only air patrols are to continue.
On 21 April, fishing vessels FV Adria and FV Txori Argi were attacked by suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean, 280 NM off the coast of Somalia, EU NAVFOR reported. The piracy attacks were thwarted, and the crew and vessels remained safe, due to the implementation of Best Management Practices protection measures by the Masters, the crews and the private security teams on both fishing vessels.
A ceremony took place today in Rota Naval Base, Cadiz, Spain, to mark the relocation of the operation Headquarters of EU NAVFOR Atalanta Operation. The relocation comes in view of Britain’s planned departure from the EU.
EU Naval Force Ships are to friendly-approach local vessels and speak to the crew in the Western Indian Ocean aiming to enhance the mutual understanding and trust between the EU Naval force and local seafarers and also get a first-hand insight about possible piracy incidents in the area.
According to BBC’s Anne Soy, foreign navy powers have played a crucial role in handling piracy off Somalia’s coast. Somali territorial waters saw a rise in smuggling, illegal fishing by foreign trawlers, illegal dumping and later piracy. But 10 years ago, the European Union, Nato and others began to deploy naval forces to the region shortly after the UN Security Council allowed warships to enter Somali territorial waters. Pirate attacks have now all but stopped, after reaching a peak in 2011.
Medical staff from the EU NAVFOR and the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army completed medical exercises on board the EU NAVFOR flagship ESPS Castilla. There were also realistic simulations with the evacuation of casualties onto helicopter.
On 16 of November, EU NAVFOR Italian Warship Federico Martinengo visited the Port of Mombasa, in Kenya. There the ship’s crew carried out the second combined exercise together with Kenyan Navy counterparts. During the exercise, EU NAVFOR’s crew showed techniques to the Kenyan Navy in firefighting, first aid and anti-flooding procedures.
MV Petra I was transiting Somali territorial waters when she met with EU NAVFOR’s forces. EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta has its core business to support World Food Programme vessels and it is its main goal to ensure their safety on their humanitarian mission.
In the morning hours of Sunday 28 October, EU NAVFOR military personnel seized an active Pirate Action Group (PAG) whaler and destroyed it. This followed a sustained period of surveillance after a piracy attack was conducted against the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier ‘KSL Sydney’. The attack against the KSL Sydney took place on 16 October, 340 nm off the coast of Somalia.
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