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  November 30th, 2017 | Written by

EU Ship Captures Suspected Pirates

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  • Suspected pirates were apprehended by Italian marines after vessels were located from helicopter.
  • Spanish maritime aircraft made initial search for pirates.
  • Search for pirates coordinated from information provided by the masters of the vessels involved.

EU NAVFOR Somalia’s Flagship, the Italian vessel ITS Virginio Fasan, has apprehended six suspected pirates and seized their vessels.

Six crew of a motor whaler, acting as mother ship, and a skiff have been detained following attacks on a 52,000-ton containership and a fishing vessel. These events reportedly took place over a 24 hour period in mid-November in the Southern Somali Basin, in an area known for piracy incidents. During the incidents a number of rocket propelled grenades were fired against the containership.

The suspected pirates were apprehended by the Italian Marines from ITS Virginio Fasan after their vessels were located using Fasan’s SH-90 helicopter, following initial searches by the Spanish Maritime Patrol Aircraft Cisne. The search for the suspected pirates was coordinated with partners and from information provided by the masters of the vessels concerned. Positive visual verification was made which allowed this to take place.

A legal process has now begun for the suspected pirates to be transferred to the appropriate authority for prosecution. EU NAVFOR was able respond rapidly and successfully to these incidents due to the combined efforts of all involved, maximizing synchronization with all EU NAVFOR partners and forward deployed capabilities.

Seafarers are reminded that adherence to BMP4 and registration with MSCHOA help overcome illegal acts at sea. The presence of international counter-piracy forces in the area will continue to act as a deterrent to further incidents.