As a recent addition to the European Union Naval Force operating counter-piracy missions the Indian Ocean, the HSwMS Carlskrona has certainly hit the ground running.
In its most recent escapade, the Carlskrona saved a crew of fourteen Indian sailors who were being hijacked by pirates.
On the morning of June 5th, an Indian dhow in the Gulf of Aden sent out an alert indicating that it was under attack from a dozen armed pirates. Dhows are common targets for pirates, mainly because they can be used as a mother ship, from which pirates can sail far out to see and launch attacks involving numerous smaller skiffs.
The Swedish ship, the Carlskrona, responded to the alert quickly. The Carlskrona first joined Operation Atalanta, the official moniker of EUNAVOR’s naval operations in the region, on April 6th of this year. As darkness fell, the Carlskrona closed in on the location and surveyed the scene.
The ship sent a helicopter to observe the ship from the sky, and determined that the pirates were preparing to flee. Being clearly under intense pressure from these military assets, the pirates drew the hijacked ship as close as they could to the shore to attempt an escape under the cover of darkness.
The pirates did indeed flee, leaving the crew completely unharmed and certainly very relieved.
Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant, Operation Commander of EUNAVFOR, made a statement on the situation:
“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. This latest attack once again shows that the threat from piracy is real. We must all remain vigilant.”