maritime piracy

A liberated Emirati ship. Spanish sailors to the rescue

(credit: Eunavfor)

(BRUSSELS2) After a year of captivity, the MV Royal Grace was released as well as the crew. This Emirati chemical tanker, flying the Panamanian flag, was captured by pirates on March 2, 2012 off the coast of Oman, while en route from Dubai to Nigeria. It was one of the ships that the Somali president recently hoped would be released through negotiation with the pirates (read: The hostages of the pirates being released?). A ransom was allegedly paid according to the Puntland authorities as reported by the Reuters agency.

Yesterday morning (Friday March 8), while the Mendez Nunez “ was conducting anti-piracy patrols 20 nautical miles off the northern coast of Somalia » – says the duty officer at Eunavfor Atalanta HQ – he saw the MV Royal “ drifting north of her pirate anchorage at a speed of 4 knots ". Shortly after, the bridge of the Spanish ship " received a radio call from the captain of the MV Royal Grace, confirming that his ship was free and that its 20-man crew (*) were in need of food, water and medical assistance".

The captain of the Méndez Núñez then quickly sent his visiting teams and a medical team to provide first aid and the necessary water and food. The MV Royal Grace was then able to resume its route. It is on its way to Muscat (Muscat) under the surveillance of another vessel in the European fleet, the Rayo (of the Spanish navy).

(*) The crew included 22 people in total departing from Dubai: 17 Indians, 1 Pakistani, 1 Bangali, 3 Nigerians. One of the Nigerians died during captivity due to lack of care and medication.

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).