Northwood, Middlesex–(ENEWSPF)–26 April 2010. The EU NAVFOR warship ESPS VICTORIA yesterday intercepted a pirate action group (PAG) comprising one mother ship, a “Whaler”, and two skiffs.
The suspected pirates were detected by the frigate’s helicopter 40 miles from the Somali coast north west of the Seychelles. The helicopter crew saw that the mother ship was carrying a large number of fuel drums, and also the normal paraphernalia for hijacking ships (ladders, hooks, etc); there was no fishing gear on board.
EU NAVFOR warship closed the PAG position and, following the orders of the EU NAVFOR Force Commander Jan Thörnqvist, a search was conducted with no opposition from the pirates. The boarding party confirmed the suspicions that these vessels were being used with the intent to carry out acts of piracy.
All the suspects were then put into one of the skiffs and given the necessary equipment to reach the Somali coast. Victoria then proceeded to destroy the other vessels.
EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s 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.