EU NAVFOR military personnel seized and destroyed an active pirate action group (PAG) whaler, which was used in an attack against the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier KSL Sydney earlier this month.
The bulker was fired upon in the Gulf of Aden, while transiting the area on October 16. The shots were fired from a skiff that tailed the vessel, some 340 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia in the Somali Basin.
However, as the armed guards on board the ship returned fire the gang from the skiff abandoned their plan of boarding the vessel and departed.
EUNAVFOR’ informed that the master had already evacuated the crew to the citadel when the armed security team responded to the attack. Both the vessel and its crew were reported to be safe.
EU NAVFOR coordinated with other counter-piracy missions to ensure an investigation was carried out, deploying counter-piracy assets in the Somali Basin to maintain heightened vigilance. Air surveillance of the area managed to detected the whaler which was later seized and destroyed.
“Using the resources of Op Atalanta we were able to identify, track and destroy the equipment of a pirate action group making it harder for them to attack maritime shipping in the future. We will continue to deter and prevent acts of piracy with every chance we get in order to ensure vulnerable shipping and their crews remain safe while they transit the Western Indian Ocean,” Rear Admiral Alfonso Perez de Nanclares, the EU NAVFOR Force Commander, said.