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A Swiss ship calls EUNAVFOR without answer…

(B2) At least that's what Eric André, president of Swiss shipowners and boss of Suisse-Atlantique, told the Swiss daily 24 Heures summarizing the report he received from (Ukrainian) captain Shcherbyna of the “Nyon” , a Swiss bulk carrier loaded with iron ore from Ukraine for China. Edifying testimony.

Fortunately the Indian and Russian navies were there. "According to custom, the Nyon announced (February 19) to the European coalition, 48 hours before entering the Gulf of Aden. The captain then gave his position every eight hours, but he received no response from the Europeans. Fortunately, he was placed just behind a convoy escorted by the Indian frigate Tabar. It was the Indian commander who himself proposed to the captain of the Nyon to join them. According to its captain, the Vaud freighter also benefited from "the close protection of the Russian destroyer Admiral-Vinogradov and military helicopters flying over the convoy ". The Nyon found itself integrated into a convoy of six cargo ships sailing in two parallel lines. The crew of the Nyon was well advised to be wary, according to the shipowner. At the same time, a Greek cargo ship flying the Maltese flag and carrying coal – Saldanha – was captured 60 km away. Despite the presence of a British frigate, the HMS Northumberland, mobilized as part of Operation “Atalanta” and cruising less than a hundred kilometers away!

A device to be reviewed according to the Swiss shipowner. “It is absolutely unacceptable that our freighter could not establish contact with the European coalition or the Swiss authorities. The “Atalanta” device is unrealistic. It is impracticable”, emphasizes Eric André. For his part, the captain of Nyon stresses that the current procedure of giving his position every eight hours is not satisfactory: “The pirates are thus kept informed of the position, movements and speed of the convoys.

(read the entire article on the 24 hour website)


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).