The Italian Frigate ITS Libeccio, which is currently deployed with the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta, has provided medical assistance to a dhow in need of help near the Horn of Africa.
During a patrol flight, one of the helicopters of ITS Libeccio spotted a dhow that was sailing from the United Arab Emirates to Somalia. The dhow requested medical assistance by radio through the emergency channel.
The doctor of ITS Libeccio, LT Annalissa Leonardi, went on board the dhow together with marines of the San Marco Brigade to help the sailors that needed assistance. Additional to the medical care, the crew of the dhow received water and food.
The Commanding Officer of ITS Libeccio, Commander Stefano Calvetti said:
“The presence of military ships in these waters is of great importance. They grant the safe transit of merchant vessels and local traffic. Additional to the counter piracy task, EU Naval Force vessels can also assist and help ships where necessary, as in this case where we provided medical aid.”
ITS Libeccio joined EU Naval Force’s Operation Atalanta on October 5 and has carried out 13 Friendly Approaches since.
Press Release, November 18, 2013; Image: EU Navfor