French Frigate ACONIT Intercepts Pirate Group
On the morning of 7 April, French Navy frigate ACONIT was heading towards a position in the north of the Horn of Africa to join with Spanish frigate INFANTA ELENA, and take over the escort of a World Food Programme ship.
Meanwhile, in Djibouti, Spain was about to hand over command of Task Force 465 to France. FS ACONIT spotted a whaler towing a skiff. The high distance to the shore, nearly 600 km, and the absence of fishing activity raised the suspicion of ACONIT’s sailors. The commanding officer quickly gave the order to intercept the whaler.
After the boarding team had been deployed, due to the short distance between ACONIT and the whaler, it required only a few minutes for the boarding team to intercept the whaler, with 8 suspected pirates on board and piracy-related equipment, although some of it had likely been thrown overboard before the interception.
Under the supervision of new Force Commander Rear Admiral Jean-Baptiste Dupuis and his staff, embarked on board FS Marne, the suspected pirates were transferred on board ACONIT. The whaler and the piracy-related equipments were destroyed and the skiff was embarked on board the French frigate. After one day of transit to get closer to the Somalian coast, on 8 April at the end of the morning, the 8 suspected pirates were released. French frigate ACONIT has again disrupted and made inoperative a pirate action group, thus preventing them from attacking vulnerable vessels in the Indian Ocean.
Naval Today Staff , April 09, 2012; Image: eunavfor