Dutch frigate returns from Somalia mission


Radio Netherlands

A Dutch frigate has returned to its home port of Den Helder after a three-month anti-pirate mission off the coast of Somalia.

HMS Van Amstel, which set sail on 19 March, helped protect international ships against Somali pirates. It also escorted UN food shipments to Somalia. Last month the ship’s marines freed

17 crew members who had been taken hostage. They also arrested 11 Somali pirates and have now handed them over to the authorities on the Secyhelles to be tried.

The Dutch vessel and its crew of 190 people formed part of the EU Atalanta mission. Another Dutch ship, HMS Evertsen, is taking part in NATO’s Ocean Shield anti-pirate mission until 1 September, when it will be relieved by HMS Rotterdam.