European Union Naval Force trains with Seychelles Coast Guard

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The Portuguese frigate Corte-Real, attached to the European Union Naval Force’s Operation Atalanta, recently visited Port Victoria in the Seychelles to perform boat-handling training with the local coast guard.

This military cooperation is seen as an important way to improve the counter-piracy capabilities of the Seychelles’ Coast-Guard, the European Union Naval Force (EU Navfor) said. The Seychelles has an exclusive economic zone of 1.4 million km².

This training is part of a coordinated planning approach established under the supervision of Force Headquarters on board the FS Marne, and is implemented by ships when visiting ports in the area of operations. This is part of EU’s comprehensive approach in the fight against piracy, and particularly of EU Navfor’s will to participate actively in the maritime capacity building process of regional navies and coast guards.

Corte-Real is part of the EU’s counter piracy mission – Operation Atalanta, off the Horn of Africa. She has an embarked helicopter and 2 boarding teams and her crew comprises 196 men and women.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the Seychelles agreed to accept for prosecution 11 suspect pirates who were captured by the EU Navfor frigate HNLMS Van Amstel on May 11.

The 11 suspect pirates had pirated an Iranian dhow with 17 innocent Iranian fishermen onboard at the beginning of May and it is thought the dhow was probably related to the unsuccessful attack against MV Super Lady on May 9.