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Two boats and 11 pirates arrested by the Seychelles Coast Guard (update)

(BRUSSELS2) Two boats suspected of having caused theattack on Drennec and Glénan were apprehended on Saturday afternoon by the Seychelles Coast Guard. As we announced this morning, a maritime surveillance plane (a Luxembourg Merlin III) from the European forces “Atalanta” was immediately sent to the scene (it was 50 miles from the area) and spotted a boat -mother and two pirate skiffs, not far from the position where the two French boats were attacked, reports Atalanta HQ. The Topaz, a Seychelles coast guard vessel, was in the area. But at the sight of him the skiffs tried to flee. He then apprehended the mother ship – with three suspects on board – then one of the pirate skiffs which had an engine failure. The pirates having fled aboard the other skiff. Finally, in the early evening, while the maritime patrol plane was returning to Seychelles to refuel, the coast guard seized the skiff with 8 suspects on board. The suspects are subject to questioning. The mother ship could be the “Win ​​Far” (NB: a Taiwanese tuna boat, captured off Denis Island, the northernmost island of the Seychelles in April 2009.)

Le Topaz is a former Indian Navy ship, the INS Tarmugli, given to the Seychelles forces in 2005. It has just been completely renovated at the shipyards of Visakhapatnam (in India), where he spent six months (from October 2008 to April 2009) with, as a result, hull repair, new engine, nonew armament… Work valued at $4 million. The Indians also gave the means of transmission. He returned to Seychelles last May. Served by a crew of 4 officers and 33 sailors, it can develop a maximum speed of 27 knots, and is armed with a Bofors cannon as well as a fire-fighting device. Its function is multiple: it can detect, locate and destroy surface devices, fight against terrorism (by embedding a rapid intervention team), fight against smuggling, protect fishing or search and rescue. (photo credit: INS Tarmugli upon its arrival in Seychelles in 2005).

On the Luxembourgish Atalanta patrol aircraft

Summary « Today two French fishing vessel in position approximately 160 nm North of Seychelles reported being under attack by pirate skiffs. The attacks were unsuccessful. EU NAVFOR reacted immediately and launched the Luxembourg Maritime Patrol Aircraft stationed at the Seychelles to investigate the area of ​​the incident. The EU NAVFOR Force Headquarters onboard EU NAVFOR Netherlands warship EVERTSEN contacted the Seychelles Coastguard, who had a patrol vessel operating 50nm from the incident. The EU NAVFOR Luxembourg Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) located the pirate skiffs, two fast attack skiffs and one mother skiff, close to the position of the earlier attack on the French fishing vessels. The MPA directed the Seychelles Coastguard to the scene. On sight of the Coastguard vessel the two fast attack skiffs fled. The Seychelles Coastguard ship stopped and boarded the mother skiff with three persons onboard. The Seychelles Coastguard then followed in pursuit of the remaining fleeing skiffs. One skiff suffered engine trouble leaving the suspected pirates with only one skiff. While refueling the EU NAVFOR Luxembourg MPA the Seychelles MPA took over the task of tracking the suspected pirates. Early in the evening, after a long chase in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles Coastguard ship stopped the final skiff after firing warning shots and eight suspected pirates were taken onboard of the Seychelles Coastguard ship for questioning. The EU NAVFOR Luxembourg Maritime Patrol Patrol aircraft was stationed in Seychelles earlier this month. This aircraft has in this short time proved to be a highly valuable asset in the fight against piracy in the Indian Ocean. »

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).