Wednesday, April 15

French Capture More Somali Pirates (Photos)

The French have gone and captured more Somali pirates:
(CNN) -- The French Navy captured 11 suspected pirates off the coast of Kenya Wednesday, the French Ministry of Defense announced.

The Navy tracked the pirates overnight after they attacked a ship called the Safmarine Asia. The French launched a helicopter from the frigate Nivose to head off the attack Tuesday night, then seized the suspected pirates Wednesday morning, the statement said. - CNN

"Interception of a pirate skiff by the Nivôse's boarding team"

"The helicopter from the Nivôse stopped a pirate assault skiff"

Also spotted and apparently tracked was a pirate 'mothership' as seen in the photo below:

"The mother vessel intercepted the pirates"

I am guessing that it is carrying food, drinking water, fuel, weapons and not much else other than that drug they all chew. (Khat.) What, you expected something bigger?

Here is an English translation of the French report on the capture: (Original French version here)
The French frigate Nivôse operating within the framework of the European operation Atalante intercepted eleven pirates on the morning of 15 April. The operation took place about 500 nautical miles (900 kilometers) east of Mombasa.

The pirates sailed from a mother ship, a boat 10 meters long including carrying 17 drums of 200 liters of fuel, and two assault skiffs . They are currently seized on the Nivôse.

The Nivôse had spotted the pirates April 14 in the evening when his helicopter had helped to thwart their attack against the building trade Safmarine Asia (Flag of Liberia). The ship tracked the boats during the night and then spoke at daybreak.

The Nivôse joined the Atalante force on 12 April. EU Operation Atalante currently consists of eight vessels (German, Spanish, french and Italian). They accompany ships transiting the Gulf of Aden and secure navigation lanes, escorting cargo ships of the World Food Program carrying humanitarian cargo to Somalia.

The increase in the number of attacks off the eastern coast of Somalia has led France to deploy the Nivôse in this area. It's work is supported by a French maritime surveillance Falcon 50 aircraft which operates in the region and complements the information collected by other maritime patrol aircraft based in Djibouti. - Google Translation link (I edited the translation a bit to the best of my guessing ability)
It sounds like they also captured the mothership but I am not sure. It would be good news if they did. And if they did, are their any pirate boats trapped far out at sea?

Click on the 'Piracy' label below for more pirate capture photos.

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