On Monday 17 February, during a ‘friendly approach’ with local seafarers, the medical team from German Navy frigate FGS Hessen, was able to provide eight local Somalia fishermen with medical examinations and some dental treatment.
The offer of medical help to the local fishing community was initiated a day earlier, after FGS Hessen’s Boarding Team came across a group of Somali fishermen at sea, who said that medical facilities in the area were extremely scarce.
The following morning, FGS Hessen’s medical team was able to give routine medical help to some fishermen and their relatives, including a 13 year-old boy. Whilst waiting for their turn on board FGS Hessen, the fishermen were given warm food and drinks and clothes donated by the German sailors. At the same time, FGS Hessen’s interpreter was able to talk to the fishermen about the role of the EU Naval Force, and the importance of helping each other to combat the piracy threat at sea.
This gesture of medical assistance given to local Somali fishermen contributes in no small way to the strengthening of trust and confidence between local seafarers and the EU Naval Force.
Press Release, February 24, 2014, 2014; Image: EU Navfor