EU NAVFOR relies on the regional legal framework to enable a
comprehensive legal prosecution of suspects of piracy.
Somalia Operation Atalanta
successfully responded to a piracy incident
ROTA Spain --
Early on 23 April, EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation
Atalanta successfully responded to a piracy incident that
transpired over the course of the four previous days.
The incident began on 19 April, when five suspected pirates
captured a Yemeni dhow off the coast of Somalia.
The pirates proceeded to navigate the along the coast, where
they visited a pirate basecamp and reinforced their crew with
Two days later on 21 April, the pirates attacked the Korean
fishing vessel Adria with the dhow acting as a mothership
in the Indian Ocean some 280 nautical miles off the coast of
FV Adria started to conduct evasive manoeuvres and
increased its speed.
The Spanish Fishing Vessel Txori Argi was operating in
the vicinity and proceeded to assist the FV Adria as she
continued to be chased by the skiffs.
After approximately one hour, both vessels were approached by
the skiffs and fired upon with what was believed to be a rocket
The Private Armed Security Teams (PAST) on board the FV Adria
and the FV Txori Argi responded, and the skiffs
That same day, another Fishing Vessel, FV Shin Shuen Far
889, also reported having been approached by two skiffs,
which both retreated when the PAST on board revealed their
On 21 April, EU NAVFOR dispatched its Maritime Patrol
Aircrafts (MPRAs) and conducted a search in the area, resulting
in identifying the mothership.
On 23 April, in collaboration with its MPRAs, EU NAVFOR’s
flagship ESPS NAVARRA successfully intercepted and
boarded the captured dhow vessel.
EU NAVFOR apprehended five suspected pirates, and the 23
hostages aboard the hijacked FV Al Azham were released
With the support of the PAST and EU NAVFOR’s various active
assets in the region—including the frigate ESPS NAVARRA
and MPRAs German JESTER and Spanish CISNE
—Operation Atalanta was able to control the situation and
prevent any further imminent attacks.
This incident is the first notable piracy event since October
of last year.
The Force Headquarters (FHQ) piloted the operation under the
command of the Operation Headquarters (OHQ) in Rota, just three
weeks after the operation hand over from Northwood, United
"This incident clearly demonstrates that piracy and armed
robbery at sea, off the coast of Somalia, has not been
eradicated," said Operation Commander Rear Admiral Antonio
"The need for a strong maritime security presence in the
High-Risk Area remains critical for the deterrence and
prevention of future incidents and attacks."
EU NAVFOR urges the Maritime Industry to remain vigilant
across the High-Risk Area and to comply with recommended Best
Management Practises, as supported by the Maritime Security
Centre Horn of Africa located in Brest.
ROTA Spain --
On 21 April, fishing vessels FV Adria and
FV Txori Argi were attacked by suspected pirates in the Indian
Ocean, 280 NM off the coast of Somalia.
The piracy attacks were thwarted, and the crew and vessels
remained safe, thanks to the application of Best Management
Practices (BMP) protection measures by the Masters, the crews
and the private security teams embarked on both fishing vessels.
EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta confirms these attacks.
It is likely that the attacks were facilitated by a
mothership, which was reportedly seized by armed men on 19 April
off the central Somali Coast.
EU NAVFOR subsequently dispatched its Maritime Patrol and
Reconnaissance Aircrafts to search the area.
In addition, EU NAVFOR flagship ESPS Navarra left the
port in Mombasa in order to proceed into the area.
On 23 April, ESPS NAVARA successfully intercepted and
boarded the dhow being used as a mothership.
The operation is still ongoing, and more details will be
provided upon completion.
EU NAVFOR remains committed to deterring, preventing and
suppressing piracy and emphasizes that the Maritime Industry
must adhere to BMP measures in order to maximize the safety of
the ship and their crews whilst transiting the high-risk area.
After pirate attack off Somalia, judge orders that five
suspects are held in Seychelles
Somalia Piracy Threat: Maritime stakeholders should not
complacent and continue to be vigilant across the High Risk
Counter Piracy Programmes: United Nations Regional Office on
Drugs and Crime