FGS Brandenburg Escorts WFP Voyage Chartered Vessel
Over a period of three days FGS Brandenburg has escorted a World Food Programme (WFP) voyage chartered vessel from Djibouti to Bosaso, which is the capital of Puntland.
The WFP vessel had about 3,000 tonnes of food on board, which was destined for displaced people in Somalia. Protecting WFP vessels from pirate attack is the primary task of the European Union’s counter-piracy Operation Atalanta.
In order to ensure that the EU Naval Force flagship was able to keep a watchful eye over the WFP vessel during the sea transit, the German frigate matched her speed.
“This meant that we travelled at about eight knots, but this ensured that the vessel remained safe from attack at all times,” commented the German frigate’s Commanding Officer, Commander Gerald Liebich.
Before the escort, the navigation plan and any actions taken should the WFP ship come under pirate attack were agreed upon by FGS Brandenburg and the WFP ship’s Master.
For the duration of the escort constant communications were maintained between both ships.
“On a regular basis we checked our communications and procedures and stayed just astern of the WFP vessel. That way we could see if anything approached the ship and react immediately,” Commander Liebich explained.
After the WFP ship arrived safely in the vicinity of the Port of Bosaso, FGS Brandenburg’s commanding officer bid farewell to the master and crew of the vessel.
EU Naval Force warships escort an average of one WFP ship a month through the piracy high risk areas and because of this protection no WFP ships have been taken by pirates and all the food aid has arrived safely for the Somali people.
Press Release, June 30, 2014; Image: EU NAVFOR