News Blogmaritime piracy

And one less mother ship. Release of a Sri Lankan dhow (Maj2)

(credit: Spanish Navy)

(BRUSSELS2) The Spanish patrol boat “Infanta Elena” – part of the European anti-piracy force – intercepted a Sri Lankan dhow, the “Nimesha Duwa” “ well known in the area ". Since her capture by Somali pirates six months ago, she has served as a mother ship and is strongly suspected of having carried out a failed attack on a merchant ship in the Mozambique Channel last weekend. .

* It was the attack on this Philippine ship on Friday (April 13) in the northeast of the Mozambique Channel that gave the signal; pirates are in the area. At the same time, the Maritime Coordination Center in Dar es Salaam issues an alert message: there is no longer any sign of a South African yacht, the Dandelion, a Leopard 47 catamaran, en route to Mayotte which should have arrived in Pemba on Friday. The worry goes up a notch. There are fears that the catamaran may have been captured. A French maritime patrol plane takes to the air; It is in fact the French who provide the “Search and Rescue” function in the area. At sea, the South African navy takes over. The SAS supply ship Drakensberg (A-301), is conducting the search from Sunday, using its on-board helicopter.

The suspected pirates' dhow was finally located by the French plane on Monday morning, off the Tanzanian coast, heading north, and identified as the Nimesha Duwa, captured on November 9, 2011. As for the South African yacht, it was also spotted off the coast of Pemba, in fact suffering from a simple technical damage, engine failure. Everyone breathes. But the operation continues. Instead of rescue, it is then an operation “prohibition of piracy”, as specified by the South African navy. The search continues for the next 24 hours. The Tanzanian and Spanish ships (Eunavfor) block the northern access, forcing the pirates to be unable to flee. But bad weather prevented any further searches the following day. The suspects were finally arrested, Wednesday noon (April 18), near the Island of Songo Songo, by the Tanzanians.

The interception took place about 18 miles off the coast of Tanzania, between the islands of Pemba and Mafia, at sunset on Wednesday (April 5). The Spanish found seven suspected Somali pirates and six fishermen on board the dhow. All were examined by the Spanish ship's doctor. While the Tanzanian navy intervenes against a skiff and arrests XNUMX other suspects. The pirates were transferred to Tanzania for incarceration.

NB: The neutralization of mother ships used by Somali pirates is one of the priorities of the new offensive strategy defined by European and Atlantic Alliance forces more than a year ago. Another vessel was recently recovered. Read : A Yemeni dhow, serving as a mother ship, released

(Maj) added information about the Tanzanian Navy (Maj2) and the South African Navy.

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).