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Pirate ship spotted by Atalanta forces destroyed near Somali coast (V2)

(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.

(credit: EUNAVFOR Atalanta)

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 whaler and the skiff, knowing they were spotted by the P3, separated in two directions (credit: EUNAVFOR Atalanta)

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 ».

Spotting the whaler (in red), near a pirate camp on the Somali coast (credit: EUNAVFOR Atalanta)

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

updated Oct. 31 with chase and spotting details

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).