The European Union Naval Force this week fended off Somali pirates, saving 14 Indian sailors.
According to the EU Navy, an Indian cargo ship sent out a distress call on the morning of June 5. Twelve pirates had attacked the ship and taken control of the vessel.
The Royal Swedish Navy warship HSwMS Carlskrona and the Dutch warship HNLMS Van Speijk responded to the distress call, and arrived to counter the attack. Using a helicopter launched from a Carlskrona, the EU forces pressured the pirates to release their Indian hostages as the ship moved closer to the Somali coast. By late night, EU naval forces received word from the Indian commander of the cargo ship that the pirates had abandoned the vessel in the dead of night. None of the crew was injured in the incident.
The thwarted pirate attack is part of Operation Atalanta, the EU’s counter-piracy mission that has been active since early April.
“What is important is that fourteen Indian sailors are now safe and able to return to their families, after what must have been a terrifying ordeal,” said Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant, operation commander of the EU Naval Force. “This latest attack once again shows that the threat from piracy is real. We must all remain vigilant.”