Wednesday, October 20, 2010

French Warship Runs Into Pirate Gang Off Somalia

More Pirate Action For the 'De Grasse'
Shipping News Feature

SOMALIA – Just a week or so ago we wrote of the French warship FS De Grasse showed UN officials how they intended to treat pirates if and when they apprehended any. Today they had the opportunity to try out their techniques after spotting two skiffs full of armed men just off the coast in the early hours of this morning. The ship is currently patrolling these waters to dissuade attacks on container ships and other freight and fishing vessels in the recognised shipping lanes.

On spotting the boats the French destroyer immediately launched a helicopter to intercept and several warning shots were fired at the suspects with a team from the De Grasse soon able to intercept and board the skiffs. The EU NAVFOR force then spotted a whaler, believed to be the attack boats supply ship and that too was seized. Large quantities of fuel and provisions were found aboard.

During the interceptions the twelve men caught were seen to discard their weapons and throw them into the sea. The absence of flagrante delicto meant that the officials could not prosecute the men for any actual offence so the whaler was destroyed and the pirates sent back to Somalia.

Although this action demonstrates that attacks can be minimised by diligent patrols the root problem remains unaffected as none of the miscreants cam be brought to trial despite their obvious intent.

Photo: A miserable looking pirate crew lounge in their boat after being captured today.