On Thursday 5 September, Spanish warship ESPS Meteoro, which is part of the European Union’s counter piracy Naval Force operating off the Horn of Africa, gave assistance to a Yemeni dhow, which had suffered steerage difficulties, with a faulty rudder.
In the early morning, the ship’s SH60B helicopter, which is part of the 10th Squadron Flotilla Aircraft, located the dhow thirty miles away from ESPS Meteoro and observed that it was moving in an erratic way.
ESPS Meteoro closed the area and once at the scene, the ship’s boarding team conducted a ‘friendly approach’ to ascertain the situation on board.
The dhow’s master and crew were very happy when the Spanish crew arrived and asked if it would be possible for the warship’s engineers to help repair their rudder, which was in a very poor state.
In less than three hours, the Spanish crew, who reinforced the damaged rudder with metal sheets and bolts, were able to confirm that it was fully operational.
ESPS Meteoro is the first ship in the “Maritime Action” class of Spanish Ocean Patrol Vessels, based in Las Palmas (Canary Islands). She departed her home port on 15 July to join the EU Naval Force and will return home early December.
Since joining Operation Atalanta, the ship has sailed over 5000 miles, conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden and wider Indian Ocean to deter and disrupt acts of piracy.
With ESPSE Meteoro, Spain continues to make a significant contribution to the EU’s counter piracy efforts.
Press Release, September 10, 2013; Image: EU Navfor