News Blogmaritime piracy

The Yemenis retaliate, the Germans block, the Australians stop...

(BRUSSELS2) Too bad! The pirates who attempted to attack a bulk carrier on Sunday night in the Gulf of Aden must have been ill-informed or a little reckless. Because they encountered unexpected resistance for a merchant ship.

On board the target, the BBC Portugal, in fact, had taken a unit of the Yemeni navy on board. When they saw the soldiers, the skiff abandoned the approach and tried to flee. But too late. The Yemeni guards fired warning shots. And the ships of the international coalitions present in the sector responded to the call for help given by the crew. A beautiful combination then took place (as one would say in rugby)…

In the air, the Japanese reconnaissance plane, P3 Orion, spotted the situation. At sea, the Australian CTF 151 ship, the Toowoomba, which was closest to the bulk carrier, approached at high speed. Meanwhile, the German helicopter from FGS Bremen, which is participating in Operation Atalanta, hovered above the skiff to block it and spot the weapons. Time for the two RHIBs from the Toowoomba boarding team to arrive near the skiff and apprehend the pirates. On board the skiff, the usual set of weapons: a rocket grenade launcher (RPG), six AK-47 assault rifles and a G-3 assault rifle as well as a large quantity of ammunition. The suspects – numbering 7 according to the BMI, 8 according to Atalanta HQ – interviewed by the captain denied having the intention of attacking the merchant vessel and engaging in piracy. They were lectured by the Australian commander and instructed to move away from the international corridor and then... released. "With enough fuel, water and foods” to reach the mainland specified the commander of the Australian ship, Order Ivan Ingham.

A concerted operation made possible according to Atalanta HQ, thanks to the common communication system of the forces present on site.

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).