News Blogmaritime piracy

Latest piracy news (February 5, 2012) (updated)

Russian, European and NATO navies on exercise

The Dutch HNLMS Zuiderkruis refuels the German ship Bayern (credit: Eunavfor / archives)

Ships participating in European (Eunavfor), NATO (Ocean Shield) and Russian operations carried out a replenishment at sea (RAS) exercise in the Indian Ocean at the end of January. Two successive refuelings were carried out with observers on board. First of all, the flagship of the EU, thee SPS Patino refueled the NATO flagship, the Turkish TGN Giresun, while Russian observers were on board both ships. A little later, in the afternoon, the exercise was repeated by the Russian flagship Admiral Tributes with his tanker Pechenga while European and NATO observers were on board the Russian ship. The “Replenishment at Sea” (RAS) exercise is a very delicate exercise which requires precision on both sides, the two ships must operate only 40-50 meters apart, to allow the fuel to move from the supply ship to the supply vessel. The discussions naturally focused on resupply maneuvers but also on respective experiences in the fight against piracy and the protection of merchant ships as well as the World Food Program (WFP).

Suspicious approach north of the Seychelles

Hackers are keeping a low profile these days. An aborted approach, however, took place on January 28, 620 miles northeast of Mogadishu but closer to the Seychelles archipelago in fact. The skiff with 5 armed men on board approached to within almost 400 meters of the merchant ship. Armed guards on board fired warning shots. The pirates then turned back.

Aconite towards the Indian Ocean

The French frigate Aconit left at the end of January for a new anti-piracy mission in the Indian Ocean. She makes a stop in Sude (Greece) at the NATO training center. Objective: to train the visiting team, made up of marines and specialized personnel, responsible for contacting suspected pirates.

Offensive methods, the return

On the sidelines of the meeting of NATO Defense Ministers on February 2, the French and Spanish once again declared themselves in favor of more offensive methods against pirates. This is to allow measures against pirate bases on the beaches and give more freedom of action to European troops to fire on pirate skiffs which are preparing to attack. The objective is to “prevent” rather than “react” to the attack, explains Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Romenes, according to EFE, the Spanish news agency.

Iranian Navy in Saudi Arabia

The destroyer Shahid Naqdi and the supply ship Khark arrived in Saudi Arabia's port of Jeddah on Friday (February 3). Which, in itself, is not common. These two ships participate in the anti-piracy mission. But their mission is also to demonstrate force and counter Iranophobia, said Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, according to Iranian television PressTv.

A Greek frigate again in the European operation Eunavfor

After several months of absence, a Greek frigate, the HS Hydra, is once again operating in the European anti-piracy force. The frigate HS Hydra (F-454) joined Eunavfor off the Horn of Africa on Saturday (February 4) after passing through the Red Sea.

Two hostages from MT Enrico levoli ashore

The captain and another sailor of the MT Enrico Levoli were dropped ashore on Thursday in a move aimed at dividing the crew, Somalia Report reported on February 5. This can be seen as an attempt to put pressure on the shipowner during the negotiations or even as a guarantee against a possible attempt at release by force.

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).