Piracy off Somalia: First Attack in Seven Months

May 3, 2019 (Google Translation) – Between 21 and 23 April, a group of pirates attacked two Korean and Spanish fishing vessels off the coast of Somalia , before being apprehended as part of Operation EU NAVFOR Atalanta. This is the first piracy incident around the Horn of Africa since October 2018.

On April 19, 5 pirates hijacked a Yemeni dhow. Two days later, the pirates attacked 2 fishing vessels with skiffs, using the dhow as the mother boat.

EU NAVFOR immediately responded by sending air and naval units to locate the distressed dhow. The Spanish frigate ESPS Navarra, the flagship of Atalanta, has joined the area as quickly as possible to intercept the boat and its occupants. The 23 hostages were released and the 5 suspects were arrested. The suspects were transferred to the Seychelles authorities on April 25, according to an agreement between the European Union and Seychelles.

This attack demonstrates the operational success of the new command facility recently transferred from the United Kingdom to Rota in Spain . The last pirate attack was last October , but no boats were captured. A similar operation involving air and naval intervention took place in November 2017, resulting in an arrest. For Atalanta Operation Commander Antonio Martorell, “This incident clearly demonstrates that piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia have not been eradicated. The presence of strong maritime security in high-risk areas remains critical for the deterrence and prevention of future incidents and attacks. “

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