Italian frigate ITS Libeccio carried out a ‘Friendly Approach’ on Sunday 20 October. During the approach, the warship’s crew 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 effective counter-piracy operations.
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 pirates to launch skiffs from the beaches.
After completing the Friendly Approach, Libeccio was tasked by the Force Commander of the European Union Naval Force to head at maximum speed towards a merchant vessel that had sent out a “May Day” because they thought they were under pirate attack. A Korean helicopter from ROKS Wang Geon searched the area and came to the conclusion that there wasn’t any threat. As a result, the Italian warship continued her counter piracy surveillance in the Gulf of Aden.
Press Release, October 25, 2013; Image: EU NAVFOR