Pirates in the Indian Ocean have been quiet for a while now, and EU Naval Force is looking to keep it that way.
Yesterday the EUNAVFOR counter-piracy flagship, ITS San Giusto, quickly stopped and apprehended a skiff with 7 suspected pirates before showing off a little bit of force and fire power… just so they know who’s boss.
The ITS Giusto was carrying out counter-piracy patrols as part of Operation Atalanta when it came across the skiff carrying a ladder and up to 20 fuel drums 180 miles east of Socotra. Eager for some action, crews launched a helicopter to investigate and a boarding team quickly boarded the skiff and apprehended the men.
Speaking about the successful capture, Rear Admiral Potts, the Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force, said “This was the first sighting of a suspect pirate vessel in the Somali Basin for over 3 months and the EU Naval Force got to it before it had a chance of carrying out an attack on ships transiting the area.”
Rear Admiral Potts added “We knew as the monsoon period ended this month that pirates would try their luck at sea and this is why we have constantly warned against complacency. My message to the pirates is clear – we are watching you and we plan to capture you if you put to sea.”
The pirates in this case didn’t make it far, but the incident is an indication that pirates still intend to get out to sea and all involved in countering piracy, whether they are the military or industry must remain vigilant and prepared.
Here are some photos of the operation: