maritime piracy

Indians escape the pirates. The Swedish Navy in action

A Swedish soldier with one of the crew members of the Indian dhow (credit: Eunavfor)

(BRUSSELS2) 14 Indian sailors were rescued and brought to safety, during the night from Wednesday to Thursday, by the Swedish ship Carlskrona (member of the European force Eunavfor Atalanta) – in conjunction with the Dutch ship HNLMS Van Speijk (member of the NATO Ocean Shield force) after their dhow was attacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean.

Attack led by 12 pirates

The captain of the Indian dhow (Shaahi al Nuuri) had raised the alarm on Wednesday (June 5) afternoon (16:30 p.m. local time), while sailing off the northern coast of Somalia, saying that it was being attacked by 12 armed pirates. The Carlskrona, which was on patrol in the Gulf of Aden, then headed towards the ship.

An initial reconnaissance – carried out by the on-board helicopter – confirmed the presence of pirates on board. When night fell, he “ kept a constant watch on the suspect vessel But "at a distance, so as not to compromise the lives of the hostages says a senior Swedish officer.

The pressure on pirates

The Pirates, " under increasing pressure from the military » - we are told at Atalanta HQ - then understood that they had lost. As one officer explains, “ the identification of the ship and its tracking of the dhow caused its usefulness as a mother ship to be lost”. They then forced the captain to approach the Somali coast and then abandoned the ship in the middle of the night. The ship's captain then reported the departure. And a visiting team from the Swedish Navy was able to board to secure the ship. No injuries to report.

A still real threat

For the head of the EU Naval Force operation, British Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant: “ This latest attack shows once again that the threat of piracy is real. We must all remain vigilant. » A little earlier in the week – according to our information – several suspicious “approaches” in the Gulf of Aden had been reported, but without shooting or attempted boarding.   

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).