EUNAVFOR destroys pirate vessel after attack on Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier

Photo: EUNAVFOR

Spanish sailors assigned to EUNAVFOR’s operation Atalanta captured and destroyed a pirate whaler in an operation off the Somali coast on October 28.

The pirate vessel was detected following an attack on Hong Kong-flagged Bulk Carrier KSL Sydney.

The attack against the KSL Sydney took place on October 16, 340 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. Rear Admiral Alfonso Perez de Nanclares, the EU NAVFOR force commander, ordered counter-piracy forces to the area for further investigation.

EU NAVFOR Spanish maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA) flew over the area to gain as much detailed information on suspected pirate activity as they could. The information the MPRA provided made it apparent that pirate whalers were active in the area, which would be used to launch further attacks on maritime shipping transiting the area.

The suspicious whaler identified by the MPRA was later tracked down by the crew of ESPS Castilla to a small bay just off the Somali coast. The force commander then ordered it to be seized and towed out to sea where it was safely destroyed.

“Using the resources of Op Atalanta we were able to identify, track and destroy the equipment of a Pirate Action Group making it harder for them to attack maritime shipping in the future,” Admiral Nanclares said. “We will continue to deter and prevent acts of piracy with every chance we get in order to ensure vulnerable shipping and their crews remain safe while they transit the Western Indian Ocean.”

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