Earlier that day, United
Kingdom Marine Trade Operation (UKMTO), which is the shipping industry’s
primary point of contact for piracy incidents, reported an attack on
the Indian fishing dhow SHAHI FAIZE NOURE to all naval forces in the
area. Rear Admiral Antonio Natale, the then NATO Operation Ocean Shield
Commander, immediately ordered HNLMS VAN SPEIJK, the closest warship to
the attack, to proceed to the suspected pirates’ location.
HNLMS VAN SPEIJK was able to reach SHAHI FAIZE NOURE’s last known
position in search of the Indian dhow. During that time, the
international staff onboard ITS San Marco was working together with the
European Union’s Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), to coordinate efforts. The
EUNAVFOR warship HSMS CARLSKRONA which was also in the area then
launched her helicopter and located the dhow which had been boarded by
the suspected pirates. The pressure exerted by the naval forces caused
the pirates to quickly leave the dhow and fall back to the Somali coast.
Less than 10 hours after the alert was broadcast by UKMTO, the 14
crewmembers of SHAHI FAIZE NOURE were safe again and able to return to
their fishing activities.
Rear Admiral Natale, who handed over the command of Operation Ocean
Shield to Commodore Henning Amundsen (Norwegian Navy) on 7th June 2013,
commented on this occasion “cooperation has once again proved to be the strongest defence against piracy”. He also added that “although
the last successful pirate attack happened now more than a year ago,
this failed attack proves that the pirates are still out there, capable
to strike attacks and eager to make profits. Only coordinated efforts
such as this one and the sea farers’ vigilance can ensure the shipping
community is out of harm's way”.