On 30 April, container ship MV Jumme Trader launched a SOS message after a crew member became very ill. The SOS was picked up by the EU Naval Force flagship, FGS Brandenburg and the Force Commander on board immediately directed EU Naval Force French warship, FS Floréal, to provide medical assistance.
As FS Floréal proceeded at maximum speed to MV Jumme Trader, which was 140 nautical miles away. the Panther helicopter was launched with the warship’s doctor on board. When the helicopter arrived on scene, the doctor was winched on to the merchant vessel. After assessing the patient, the decision was taken to evacuate the sailor without delay to FS Floréal’s well-equipped sickbay for further medical care.
After receiving medical treatment, the mariner’s condition quickly stabilized, so FS Floréal headed towards Salalah, which was Jumme Trader’s next port of call, and the helicopter carried out an evacuation to Sultan Qaboos hospital the following morning.
FS Floréal is a Floréal class frigate and joined EU Naval Force, the European Union’s Counter Piracy Mission off the Coast of Somalia, on 18 April 2014. Just five days earlier, the French frigate had assisted four distressed Seychellois fishermen.
Since the European Union Naval Force began counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia in December 2008, EU warships have, as well making a significant contribution in the fight against piracy, provided much-needed medical and technical assistance to a number of seafarers at sea.
Press Release, May 5, 2014; Image: EU Navfor