EU NavFor destroys pirate action group whaler


EU NavFor military personnel last weekend seized an active pirate action group (PAG) whaler and destroyed it.

The destruction came on the heels of a sustained period of surveillance following a piracy attack against the Hong Kong-flagged Bulk Carrier KSL Sydney. EU NavFor is committed to disrupting PAG’s wherever and whenever the opportunity arises and Sunday was one such occasion the force said in a statement.

The attack against the KSL Sydney took place on October 16, 340 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia.

Rear Admiral Alfonso Perez de Nanclares, EU NavFor Force Commander, ordered counter-piracy forces to the area for further investigation. Deployed Spanish maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA) flew over the area to gain detailed information on suspected pirate activity. The ability to deploy aircraft and ships immediately proved vital in identifying the PAG. Information provided by the aircraft made it apparent PAG whalers were active and would be used to launch further attacks on maritime shipping transiting the area.

The suspicious whaler identified by the MPRA was tracked down by the crew of ESPS Castilla to a small bay just off the Somali coast. The Force Commander then ordered it to be seized and towed to sea where it was safely destroyed.

Nanclares said: “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. We will continue to deter and prevent acts of piracy at every opportunity to ensure vulnerable shipping and their crews remain safe while transiting the western Indian Ocean”.