Six crew of a motor whaler, acting as mother ship, and a skiff have been detained following attacks on a 52,000 ton container ship and a fishing vessel. The attacks reportedly took place over a 24 hour period on November 17 and 18 in the Southern Somali Basin, an area known for piracy. During the incidents a number of rocket propelled grenades were fired against the container ship. However, adherence to piracy guidelines BMP4, the presence of a security team on one of the vessels and good seamanship avoided any damage or injuries, and all crew and vessels are now safe.
The suspected pirates were apprehended by the Italian Marines from ITS Virginio Fasan after their vessels were located using Fasan’s SH-90 helicopter, following initial searches by the Spanish Maritime Patrol Aircraft Cisne.
This search for the suspected pirates was coordinated with partners and from information provided by the masters of the vessels concerned. Positive visual verification was made. A legal process has now begun for the suspected pirates to be transferred to the appropriate authority for prosecution.