Gulf of Aden: EUNAVFOR Anti-Piracy Activities


News by EU NAVFOR Public Affairs Office

• EU Naval Force French Frigate Guépratte Secures Gulf of Aden, As

• EUNAVFOR Atalanta Italian Ship Scirocco Rescue Somali Fishermen

From 1 to June 14, 2012, EUNAVFOR frigate Guépratte has concentrated its patrols in the area south of the Strait of Bab el Mandeb and the western Gulf of Aden, areas prone to pirate attacks.

The beginning of June usually marks the arrival of the monsoon in the Indian Ocean. It is characterized by sustained rains, strong winds and rough seas which make navigation of skiffs and dhows on the high seas very difficult. These changing conditions also restrict the fishing grounds. Fishers then focus during this period in the quieter areas located in the western Gulf of Aden and the southern Strait of Bab El Mandeb.

The pirate groups can take advantage of this situation to blend in with the fishing boats and attack cargo ships transiting in the vicinity. By order of the EUNAVFOR Force Headquarters on board flag ship Marne, Guépratte sailors then concentrated their patrols in sensitive areas to be able to act quickly in the event of an attack against a merchant vessel. The Panther helicopter of Guépratte performed several maritime traffic surveillance flights.

Guépratte performed constant radio contacts with the crews of merchant vessels transiting in the area. Indeed, this high concentration of skiffs may generate some concern among the crews of merchant ships.

On 14 June 2012, French frigate Guépratte finished her patrol in the Gulf of Aden and called in Salalah, relieved by other TF 465 ships in the Gulf of Aden.

Somali Fishermen Rescued by EUNAVFOR Atalanta Italian Ship Scirocco

On June 12th, EU Naval Force rescued a small fishing boat on the northern coast of Somalia.

In the afternoon of June 12th, EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Italian frigate Scirocco rescued a small fishing boat (skiff type) in distress with two Somali fishermen coming from the town of Alula, on the northern coast of Somalia, in the Bari region, who reported to be adrift since June 7th following an engine failure.

ITS Scirocco was conducting a patrolling mission in the Gulf of Aden about 20 miles from the northern coast of Somalia, when the small boat was spotted with the two crew members trying to capture the ship’s attention.

After providing food, beverages and medical assistance, ITS Scirocco provided technical assistance in an effort to repair the engine. As the failure could not be repaired at sea, the skiff was towed by Scirocco’s jet boat towards the Somali coast in vicinity of Alula, ensuring the safe transfer of the two fishermen.