EUNAVFOR Warships Provide Assistance to Stricken Vessel in Gulf of Aden
Over the past few days EUNAVFOR warships, operating as part of the EU’s counter-piracy mission codenamed Operation ATALANTA, have provided life-saving assistance to a stricken dhow, with 12 crew and 92 passengers onboard, including a pregnant woman and 33 children.
The dhow had put out a distress signal on Friday 2 March, saying that she was drifting at sea with no propulsion. NATO warship, ITS Grecale was the closest ship and gave immediate assistance and on Sunday 4 March EUNAVFOR warship, FGS Berlin arrived on the scene and provided much needed medical support, together with food and 500 litres of water. Despite FGS Berlin’s engineers working on the dhow overnight, the damaged engine could not be restarted.
On Monday EU Flagship ESPS Patino took over the rescue mission from FGS Berlin so that Berlin could continue with her counter-piracy duties, and as well as providing reassurance, medical assistance and food to the worried passengers, Patino was able to tow the dhow to safety.
Speaking about the rescue mission, EU Force Commander, Rear Admiral Jorge Manso said: “The warships’ crews have worked extremely hard, in difficult conditions to provide life-saving assistance to the crew and passengers from the stricken dhow. I am extremely proud of their efforts.”
World Maritime News Staff, March 8, 2012; Image: EUNAVFOR