Wednesday, April 24, 2019

More Somali Pirate Attacks Lead to Capture of Mother Ship

Fishermen Fight of Would Be Hijackers
Shipping News Feature
INDIAN OCEAN – EU Navfor has confirmed that on April 21, two fishing vessels, the FV Adria and the FV Txori Argi were attacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean, 280 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. News of the attack came after the new leadership of EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta co-chaired the 44th Shared Awareness and De-confliction (SHADE) conference, warning all stakeholders to remain vigilant across the high risk area.

The piracy attacks were thwarted, and the crew and vessels remained safe, thanks to the application of Best Management Practices (BMP) protection measures by the Masters, the crews and the private security teams embarked on both fishing vessels.

In confirming these attacks, EU Navfor Somalia Operation Atalanta said that it is likely that the attacks were facilitated by a mothership, which was reportedly seized by armed men on April 19 off the central Somali Coast.

EU Navfor subsequently dispatched its Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircrafts to search the area. In addition, EU Navfor flagship ESPS Navarra left the port in Mombasa, Kenya, in order to proceed into the area. On 23 April, ESPS Navarra successfully intercepted and boarded the dhow being used as a mothership.

EU Navfor says that the operation is still ongoing, and that it remains committed to deterring, preventing and suppressing piracy and emphasizes that the Maritime Industry must adhere to BMP measures in order to maximise the safety of the ship and their crews whilst transiting the high-risk area, a running theme of the biannual SHADE conferences, the most recent held on April 17 in Bahrain.

Alongside Co-Chair, the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), Rear Admiral Antonio Martorell, Spanish Navy, Operational Commander of EU Navfor Operation Atalanta spoke before the gathered delegates at the conference, saying:

“In light of the upcoming change in the size of the High Risk Area (HRA) off the Horn of Africa in May, both EU Navfor and CMF, stress that piracy off the Horn of Africa is by no means eradicated; it is only suppressed.”

The combined efforts of EU Navfor, CMF, Independent Deployer’s India and Oman, and the BMP5 self-protection measures adopted by the Maritime Industry, have led to a reduction in incidents over recent years. The threat of piracy persists and the need for all maritime agencies to work closely and remain vigilant is essential to retaining freedom of navigation for legitimate seafarers.