Last Monday 9 December, EU Naval Force flagship FS Siroco came to the assistance of seafarers who had been adrift at sea for more than two days after their boat suffered engine failure.
The seafarers, who were very tired and hungry attracted the attention of the French warship, which was conducting European Union counter piracy patrols, by waving their arms as the ship sailed close by.
After providing the stricken crew with food and water, FS Siroco was tasked to go and investigate two skiffs which were suspected of attacking a merchant vessel earlier in the day. Before they left the scene, FS Siroco’s commanding officer, Commander Jean-Marc Le Quilliec, reassured the seafarers that his ship would return to ensure that they could reach the coast safely.
After locating the suspect skiff, FS Siroco’s Boarding Team found no evidence of illegal activity, so the men were allowed to proceed on their way.
As promised, FS Siroco then returned to the stricken vessel. Upon arrival, the master said that he had arranged for a dhow to tow his vessel back to land and the vessel was now safe.
On completion, FS Siroco returned to her task of protecting vulnerable shipping and deterring and disrupting piracy in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor in the Gulf of Aden.
Press Release, December 16, 2013; Image: EU Navfor