(B2) Sailors of the EU's anti-piracy operation in the Indian Ocean seized a pirate action group (PAG) whaler in a bay off the Somali coast on Sunday and then destroyed it.
After a pirate attack on the bulk carrier KSL Sydney flying the flag of Hong Kong on October 16 (read: Pirate attack off Mogadishu), Spanish Rear Admiral Alfonso Perez de Nanclares, head of the EU anti-piracy sea force (EU NAVFOR), ordered his forces to go to the area to find the perpetrators.
A whaler and a spotted skiff
The next morning, a Spanish maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (P3 Orion) flew over the area to gather as much information as possible. He then spotted a suspicious whaler and a skiff about 130 nautical miles from the scene of the attack (and about 167 nautical miles from the Somali coast). The behavior of these two ships was more than suspect since - says the HQ of Atalanta - " they used mirrors to thwart the plane's [radar] systems ". The two ships then separated, picking up speed in different directions to avoid being pursued. During the days that followed, planes and ships maintained " continuous monitoring in the area ».
The ship spotted on the Somali coast
The search was finally successful on Saturday (October 27), identifying the suspect whaler " in an area known to have been associated with pirate activity ". The ship, anchored near the coast, in a small bay on the Somali coast, was seized by the intervention team of the Spanish landing ship ESPS Castilla (L-52). "After a thorough search, it was confirmed to be the vessel spotted by the aircraft on October 17." It was then towed out to sea for destruction. safely ».
updated Oct. 31 with chase and spotting details