On 10 May, French EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) ship FS Nivôse completed a nine day escort of a World Food Programme (WFP) chartered vessel. The WFP ship was escorted from Djibouti to the port of Mombasa in Kenya.
During the escort, members of the French Navy crew remained on constant look-out, with the ship’s Panther helicopter ready to launch to help deter any pirate attack.
Prior to the escort, the captain of FS Nivôse visited the WFP vessel in order to meet the ship’s captain. He was able to commend the captain on his application of self protection measures, known generally as ‘Best Management Practice’ (BMP), that protect a ship against pirate attack. Examples of BMP are: the use of barbed wire along the edge of the ship; increasing speed and surveillance while transiting the High Risk Area and the construction of a citadel or ‘safe room’ in which the crew can lock themselves in should they come under attack and from where they can still control the ship and radio for assistance.
The French Navy surveillance frigate FS Nivôse is currently on her sixth deployment with EU NAVFOR. The protection of humanitarian aid carried by WFP ships is one of the key tasks of Operation Atalanta. European Union navies participating in EU NAVFOR also deter, prevent and repress acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia and protect vulnerable ships.
Press Release, May 14, 2013; Image: EU NAVFOR