EU NAFVOR warship FGS Berlin has successfully engineered the release of an Indian flagged dhow and crew, disrupting a Pirate Action Group and destroying two attack skiffs.
On 28 February 2012, EUNAVFOR Warship FGS Berlin received a distress call from a merchant vessel reporting that they had successfully repelled a pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden. Berlin dispatched one of its helicopters to the position and quickly located a skiff and an Indian flagged and crewed dhow. The crew of the helicopter established that the dhow had been pirated and the crew of 25 Indian nationals were held hostage. The suspected pirates threatened to kill crew members if FGS Berlin took any action against the dhow.
On 29 February FGS Berlin destroyed the two unmanned skiffs towed by the dhow, without which pirates cannot mount any attack against merchant shipping.
Even though FGS Berlin, given the hostages on board of the dhow, was not in a position to prevent the suspected pirates escaping to the Somali Coast, EU NAVFOR has destroyed the attack skiffs, denied the suspect pirates the use of the dhow as a mother-ship and disrupted a Pirate Action Group.
Says EUNAVFOR: “The sustained but measured application of pressure and determination of FGS Berlin not only safeguarded the lives of the hostages but also saved them from a potentially protracted period in captivity”.
Once a team from FGS Berlin investigated the situation on board the dhow, four crew members received medical care. After food and water was delivered to the Indian crew, the dhow continued to her next port of call.