|Spanish Warship 'Infanta Elena' rescues captured Sri Lankan fishermen|
|Thursday, 26 April 2012 18:07|
Image source: US Navy
The EU Naval Force Spanish warship 'ESPS Infanta Elena' rescued six Sri Lankan fishermen and their fishing vessel from seven suspected pirates earlier this month. The fishing vessel had been in the hands of suspect pirates since November 2011 and was reportedly being used as a mother-ship to launch attacks against merchant shipping in the region.
At sunset on the 18th of April, 80 kilometers off the coast of Tanzania, 'Infanta Elena' identified the pirated vessel. After closing its position, the Spanish boarding team went onboard. Once there, they identified the seven suspected Somali pirates and six Sri Lankan crew. The men received much needed medical care and were provided food and water. Earlier the same day, five suspect pirates had been arrested by Tanzanian maritime forces when their attack skiff, believed to have been operated from the Sri Lankan vessel, beached on the Tanzanian coast.
The tired, but very relieved Sri Lankan fishermen were handed over to Tanzanian maritime forces close to Dar Es Salaam and the European Union, via its delegation in Tanzania helped to ensure that the crew could quickly make contact with their families. Arrangements are now being made to fly the fishermen home to Sri Lanka.
This is the 10th disruption this year of a Pirate Action Group by an EU Naval Force warship, another instance of armed pirates being prevented from carrying out further attacks on ships transiting the Indian Ocean.
Source: MarEx News
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