FGS Niedersachsen Destroys Pirate Skiffs
On the morning of 10 June, the EU NAVFOR German warship FGS Niedersachsen detected a suspected Pirate Action Group (PAG) whilst conducting a routine patrol in the Southern Somali Basin.
The PAG, which is suspected of carrying out a number of attacks on merchant vessels in the area, consisted of a fishing dhow and 2 attack skiffs. Small arms and Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG)s were also seen on board.
As the Dhow was considered to be a real threat to shipping in the area, the German warship decided to disrupt the vessel but fears for the safety of the hostages on board prevented the Niedersachsen from taking direct action against the vessel. Instead, to remove the Dhow’s ability to launch further attacks, the warship opened fire on the 2 attack skiffs sinking them in the process. Without attack skiffs, it is highly unlikely that the suspected pirates could successfully board a vessel.
Having lost its skiffs, the Dhow changed course and made its way back toward Somalia.
This disruption has undoubtedly hampered pirate action and avoided highly probable attacks on merchant shipping and vulnerable vessels in the area.
EUNAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). EUNAVFOR also protects vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, deters and disrupts piracy. EUNAVFOR finally monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
Source: eunavfor, June 14, 2011;