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EU naval force thwarts pirate attack off Somali coast

Storyline:National News, Security

Four Yemeni fishermen aboard two vessels were rescued by the EU Naval force (EU NAVFOR) after four days of capture by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

EU NAVFOR said in a statement Tuesday the four aboard FV Adria and FV Txori Argi fishing vessels were attacked by suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean, 280 NM off the coast of Somalia. “The piracy attacks were thwarted, and the crew and vessels remained safe, thanks to the application of Best Management Practices (BMP) protection measures by the Masters, the crews and the private security teams embarked on both fishing vessels,” the statement read in part.

According to EU NAVFOR which patrols the Western Indian Ocean to provide safe passage for vessels, the attack were likely facilitated by a mother ship which was reportedly seized by armed men on 19 April off the central Somali Coast.

EU NAVFOR subsequently dispatched its Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircrafts to search the area. In addition, EU NAVFOR flagship ESPS Navarra left the port in Mombasa in order to proceed into the area, the naval force said. On 23 April, ESPS NAVARA successfully intercepted and boarded the dhow being used as a mothership.

EU NAVFOR however noted the operation was still ongoing but called on maritime industry to adhere to BMP measures in order to maximize the safety of the ship and their crews whilst transiting the high-risk area