On Saturday, 20 October 2012, the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) German frigate FGS Sachsen located a dhow after receiving a distress signal, saved 20 Iranian sailors and detained seven suspected pirates.
The German frigate received a distress call on Friday, 19 October 2012, from the fishing vessel and was dispatched immediately to the last known position 250 nautical miles north-east off the coast of Somalia.
On Saturday, 20 October 2012, FGS Sachsen located the dhow and established contact with the master of the dhow. Over the radio the master reported his vessel had been taken by force six days ago. He said that pirates were threatening the crew and agreed for a German boarding team to come aboard the dhow.
Seven suspected pirates were detained and several assault rifles AK47 as well as a Rocket Propelled Grenade launcher (RPG) were confiscated, hardening the suspicion that the dhow has been pirated.
The freed hostages have been provided with food and water as well as technical assistance to continue their journey.
EU NAVFOR undertakes all efforts to achieve a legal finish. This time a prosecution was not possible and as such the seven suspects held on FGS Sachsen were released.
This action denied the suspected pirates the use of the dhow as a potential mother ship and saved 20 Iranian sailors from what could be a prolonged captivity.
Naval Today Staff, October 24, 2012; Image: EU Navfor