Somali pirates fled a captured vessel after they had spotted Spanish EU Naval Force maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA). The master of the dhow told the story on April 26. He said that his vessel had been captured by 6 pirates who had been armed. The dhow and the crew had been taken hostages. The pirates left the scene after pressure applied by the EU Naval Force from the sea and the air.
He confirmed his story to the boarding team of FGS Brandenburg, EU Naval Force flagship. The German navy ship had closed the scene in order to investigate the captured vessel.
The dhow's master told the German navy team that the Somalis had forced him and its crew to steer to the Gulf of Aden. The pirates had planned to use the vessel as a kind of "mother ship" to attack merchant vessels at sea.
According to the master, the Somali pirates had managed to steal electronic equipment and crew's personal belongings before leaving the dhow.
Rear Admiral Jürgen zur Mühlen, the EU Force Commander, stated that the event confirmed that the threat of piracy attack is still very real.
"The deterrence and swift action by EU Naval Force has once again denied freedom of action to pirates,” he added.
EU Naval Force patrol warships and aircraft continue their counter-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.