EU Naval Force Warship ESPS Meteoro has recently completed a busy period of Friendly Approaches meeting 23 dhows and skiffs in just 3 days.
During these approaches the boat crews received information about the movements of maritime traffic in the area and strengthened relationships with local seafarers. The understanding between the maritime community in the area of operations is key to EU Naval Forces ability to conduct counter-piracy operations.
In some cases the Meteoro also provided technical assistance and in some cases medical attention to the vessels they visited. In every friendly approach the boat crews provided water and food to the local seafarers.
The numbers of friendly approaches by EU Naval Force Warships has increased recently due to the increased number of skiffs and dhows in the Gulf of Aden following the end of the South West Monsoon. The improved sea conditions make it possible for boats to be launched from the beaches which whilst good for the local fisherman and maritime community also allows pirates to launch skiffs from the beaches.
ESPS Meteoro is an Offshore Patrol Vessel and is based in Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. The ship sailed from the Canary Islands on 15 July to join Operation Atalanta and will remain part of the operation until December, since joining she has sailed over 8000 miles.
Press Release, October 01, 2013; Image: EU NAVFOR