The oceanic patrol vessel ‘Relámpago’, currently participating in the European-led counter-piracy operation ‘Atalanta’ in the Indian Ocean, has provided medical assistance to a ‘dhow’-type fishing boat off the coast of Somalia.
The ‘Relámpago’ carried out a friendly approach or MSAV (maritime situational awareness visit) to the fishing boat as part of her counter-piracy mission, to ascertain that the ships sailing in the area are not involved in any illegal or criminal activities. These visits also serve to explain the EU operations in those waters.
During the situational awareness visits, medical assistance is offered, if required, since the working and living conditions on board local fishing boats are worse than the habitability and sanitary conditions of Western trawlers.
These actions decisively contribute to improve the image of Europe in general, and Spain in particular, in those pirate stricken waters.
Press Release, May 29, 2014; Image: Spanish Navy