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Operation ATALANTA confirms the liberation of the Liberian-flagged Merchant Vessel BASILISK. EUNAVFOR Photo

Operation ATALANTA confirms the liberation of the Liberian-flagged Merchant Vessel BASILISK. EUNAVFOR Photo

EU’s Operation ATALANTA Frees Ship From Suspected Somali Pirates

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1470
May 24, 2024

Operation ATALANTA, the European Union’s counter-piracy naval force, successfully freed the Liberian-flagged M/V BASILISK from suspected pirates.

The ship, with 17 crew members on board, was attacked on Thursday, May 23, while transiting the Indian Ocean, approximately 380 nautical miles east of Mogadishu, Somalia. The vessel was intercepted by assailants from two small crafts, according to reports by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).

ATALANTA forces arrived at the scene on Thursday night and boarded the vessel from a helicopter.


One male crewmember sustained injuries during the attack, but is now in stable condition after receiving medical attention from the ATALANTA medical team. The remaining crewmembers are safe and the ship has been secured by an ATALANTA vessel.

Throughout the ordeal, Operation ATALANTA maintained constant communication with the shipowner and the flag state. No pirates were captured in the operation.

In light of the incident, Operation ATALANTA has issued a reminder of importance of merchant and other vulnerable vessels registering in the Maritime Security Centre- Horn of Africa’s Voluntary Registration Scheme, which allows for the most effective monitoring and response by ATALANTA forces and their partners in countering maritime security threats.

The attack on the BASILISK is part of a worrying resurgence of Somali piracy. EUNAVFOR has reported the presence of two or more pirate action groups off the Somali coast following a string of recent dhow hijackings. Since December, two merchant vessels, the MV Ruen and the MV Abdulla, have been hijacked.

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