On Saturday EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta vessels intercepted and boarded a skiff suspected of involvement in an incident with the French Sailing Yacht, SY TRIBAL KAT.
EU NAVFOR reports receiving a distress call from the SY TRIBAL KAT on Thursday, September 8. FGS BAYERN responded to the call, locating the yacht off the coast of Yemen. The crew of the yacht was not found onboard. Signs of a struggle were apparent, bullet holes and blood stains portrayed a violent image.
On Saturday EU NAVFOR warships SPS GALICIA and SF SURCOUF located and trailed the skiff suspected of involvement with the incident.
The SY TRIBAL CAT is a 17 meter catamaran owned by Christian and Evelyn Colombo of France. The couple sold everything they owned two years ago to buy the yacht and sail the world. Officials found Evelyn onboard the pirate’s skiff and safely freed her. Her husband Christian, 55, was killed when pirates boarded their yacht. His body was thrown overboard.
The seven pirates were taken into custody and the skiff was sunk. The pirates have been detained onboard the SPS GALICIA while an investigation takes place.
Just last week a Danish family of five including three children, and two crew members were released by pirates after seven months of negotiation over ransom.
Somali pirates are currently holding 50 vessels and 528 hostages.
Source: EU NAVFOR, September 12, 2011;