The OPV ‘Tornado’, integrated into the European Union operation ‘Atalanta’ fighting piracy in the Indian Ocean, has assisted an Iranian dhow-type boat sailing adrift for lack of fuel and with scarce food.
The Spanish Navy warship was patrolling the IRTC (Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor) in the Gulf of Aden providing protection to the merchant shipping in the area, when she spotted a dhow adrift.
The ‘Tornado’ dispatched a Boarding Team and the dhow’s captain informed that they had run out of fuel, and food was scarce. The Spanish Navy OPV (oceanic patrol vessel) provided the necessary fuel and food, but the dhow’s engine had start-up problems and did not work. Technicians endeavored to fix the engine but to no avail. At the end it was decided to tow the dhow towards Omani waters.
The Iranian boat was towed for 10 hours to the vicinity of the Omani island of Al Halanyllah where the ‘Tornado’ got in contact with Omani Navy and Coast Guard authorities to transfer the custody of the broken-down Iranian boat. After that, the ‘Tornado’ returned to the operations area to continue with her maritime surveillance tasks in the Gulf of Aden.
Armada, February 28, 2014