After a three day hunt by EU and NATO anti piracy forces, HNLMS Rotterdam in close cooperation with EU unit FGS Sachsen, has successfully disrupted a pirated dhow.
This end game took place in the coastal waters of Somalia. The crew has been freed and is in good condition. The suspected pirates will be transported to Rotterdam and will be detained awaiting further decisions on follow-on process.
Naval intelligence suggested that the pirated dhow was heading for eastern Somalia to link up with other pirates. NATO and EU forces then decided to set a trap and remove this threat to international merchant shipping.
"There was not really anywhere for them to go", explains Captain Huub Hulsker, Commanding Officer of the HNLMS Rotterdam. "The situation was clear and some strict orders and two warning shots later, the suspected pirates surrendered. The boarding team was on board and in control of the vessel within the next 20 minutes, separating the pirates from a grateful dhow crew. A grateful dhow crew, an impressive first action of my whole team early in my deployment and six suspected pirates detained on board, awaiting further decisions - this is a result that counts.”
HNLMS Rotterdam is the flagship of the NATO Task Force 508 and is a part of the international effort to fight piracy in the waters around Somalia. The combined EU/NATO action underlines the strength of the international maritime cooperation.
The photo gallery below shows pictures of HNLMS Rotterdam and the dhow that was taken over by pirates during the rescue operation.
Photo courtesy: HNLMS Rotterdam