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A Spanish patrol boat rescues the crew of a ship attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea

(B2) The Spanish Patrol Boat Cathead (P-71) released this Monday (May 6) the crew of a Maltese-flagged ship hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, announces the staff of the Spanish navy

A pirate attack off Equatorial Guinea

While on patrol, the 'Serviola' received a communication from the Center for Operations and Surveillance of the Navy (COVAM), reporting that a pirate attack had taken place on a merchant vessel. The patrol boat then throttled up to approach the area and made contact with an Equatorial Guinea navy frigate. Monday, May 6 in the morning, they were able to free the 20 crew members who had taken refuge in a secure room located inside the ship.

An armed attack

It was on Sunday afternoon (May 5) that it all started. The sailors spotted a small pirate ship, with seven pirates on board, armed. The alarm has been triggered. And the whole crew managed to reach the safe compartment in time, after reporting the attack.

Once on board, the pirates called on the ship's megaphone for the crew to surrender and return all the money on board. The captain refused to leave the secure room, so the pirates punched a small hole in it and began to open fire indiscriminately. Fortunately no crew member was injured. The threats and the shootings suddenly ceased. The pirates, having noticed the presence of military units in the area, fled. But the crew did not dare to go out, without certainty of the departure of the bandits.

NB: This is not the first time the 'Serviola' has freed a hijacked ship during the current deployment. Last April, he thwarted another pirate attack on a Nigerian-flagged ship.


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).