On Friday 10 January, EU Naval Force warship FGS Hessen gave assistance to a Yemeni Dhow that was adrift and suffering from technical problems off the coast of Yemen.
FGS Hessen, who was conducting EU counter piracy patrols, was alerted by the Japanese Maritime Patrol and Reconaissance Aircraft (MPRA) that the dhow was drifting and surrounded by an oil slick. FGS Hessen was tasked to provide assistance on completion of a Replenishment at Sea (RAS) with UK ship, RFA Wave Ruler
FGS Hessen was able to reach the stranded dhow within a couple of hours, having already dispatched its Lynx helicopter to investigate en route. The Yemini crew was very happy when the Navy frigate appeared over the horizon and they told the German sailors that they had been adrift for a total of five days. FGS Hessen’s chefs provided much-needed food and water for the fishermen and within two hours the German engineers had repaired the dhow’s engines, allowing them to proceed on their way.
Before the German warship returned to counter-piracy patrols, the dhow’s master expressed his heartfelt thanks for helping his crew.
This incident at sea once again showed the close cooperation between the different international missions within the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia, as well as the ability of EU Naval Force units to respond to requests for assistance whilst conducting counter-piracy operations.
EU NAVFOR, January 14, 2014