On April 17th, a boarding team of HNLMS Evertsen of the Dutch Navy boarded BigLift’s Happy Dragon in a drill against piracy. The drill took place in the Gulf of Aden.
HNLMS Evertsen and Happy Dragon met out at sea to practice a so-called boarding operation. Happy Dragon assumed the part of a captured vessel, whereby her crew retreated to the safe room on board.
Enhanced Boarding Element
The Enhanced Boarding Element (EBE) of HNLMS Evertsen consists of teams of specially trained Marines. They boarded Happy Dragon, captured the pirates and freed the crew. BigLift and the master agreed to this exercise to assist the Dutch Navy in a training exercise and show the crew what the navy can do in case of a genuine attack.
Unique practice opportunity
The Commander of HHNLMS Evertsen was content with this unique opportunity. “It hardly ever happens that we are able to practice on board a genuine merchant navy vessel. We are grateful for the hospitality of the Master and his crew.”
HNLMS Evertsen has been present in the Gulf of Aden since February of this year for the anti-piracy mission Ocean Shield.
Press Release, May 2, 2014; Image: Wikimedia