Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

Fresh hopes for cruising sailors as EU attacks pirate lairs

by CP24/Sail-World Cruising on 16 May 2012
Pirates, suddenly sorry SW
New hopes have been raised for cruising sailors wanting to cross the Indian Ocean with the very first proactive attack by European Union naval forces into Somalia this week, after promising to take more positive action. The EU Naval Force had announced in March that it would expand its mission to include Somalia's coast and waterways inside the country for the first time.

An EU spokesman said that EU forces in attack helicopters conducted their first onshore raid this week on a suspected pirate lair. A pirate said the strike destroyed a supply centre and set back operations.

No deaths were reported in the Tuesday morning attack on Handulle village, about 18 kilometres north of Haradhere town, a key pirate lair. EU officials said forces did not go on land during the attack.

Bile Hussein, a pirate commander, told news outlets that the attack along Somalia's central coastline destroyed speed boats, fuel depots and an arms store.

'They destroyed our equipment to ashes. It was a key supplies centre for us,' Hussein said. 'The fuel contributed to the flames and destruction. Nothing was spared.'

He said nine speed boats were destroyed, and that three of them were on standby for hijackings.

Somali government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman said the raid was carried out with the full knowledge of Somalia's government and it serves as a message to the pirates that they'll neither be safe at sea or on land.

The EU is the main donor to the Somali transitional government. It also trains Somali army troops, and is reinforcing the navies of five neighbouring countries to enable them to counter piracy themselves. The long coastline of war-ravaged Somalia provides a perfect haven for pirate gangs preying on shipping off the East African coast.

'This action against piracy is part of a comprehensive EU approach to the crisis in Somalia, where we support a lasting political solution on land,' said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Pirates have turned dangerously violent in the last few years, as spiraling ransoms attracted ruthless criminals to a trade once dominated by aggrieved local fishermen.

In the first quarter of this year, attacks fell sharply in Somalia's waters, thanks to international naval patrols. There were 43 attacks, including nine vessel hijackings, compared with 97 attacks a year ago, the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur said in April.

The EU's more robust mandate for its naval force allows it for the first time to mount strikes against pirate targets on Somalia's 'coastal territory and internal waters.' When the policy was announced, officials said the new tactics could include using warships or their helicopters to target pirate boats moored along the shoreline, as well as land vehicles or fuel tanks used by the pirates.

The new approach won't see prudent cruising sailors in the north west Indian Ocean any time soon, but it's a step in the right direction. More than 200 cruising sailors used to transit the Gulf of Aden on their way to the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean. Since the deaths of several cruising sailors at the hands of pirates this figure has been cut to almost zero, and those that do go are doing so against the advice of everyone from the EU and Coalition forces to the International Sailing Federation.
Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82PredictWind.comMackay Boats

Related Articles

Int Moth Worlds - Zhik returns to its spiritual home at 2017 Worlds
Zhik is returning to its roots as the official clothing sponsor of the 2017 McDougall McConaghy Moth World Championships Zhik, the innovative sailing apparel specialist, is returning to its roots as the official clothing sponsor of the 2017 McDougall McConaghy Moth World Championships. And, ten years on, the Moths are returning to their spiritual home on Lake Garda. Zhik and the International Moth class are virtually synonymous with each other.
Posted on 20 Jul
Cheeki Rafiki - Douglas Innes to face retrial over manslaughter
Douglas Innes to face retrial over manslaughter The Director of Stormforce Coaching, the company that ran Cheeki Rafiki, is set to face retrial for manslaughter over the deaths of the four crew. They were 700nm from Nova Scotia, returning to Southampton after racing in Antigua when the keel feel off. It is said that previous groundings had weakened the keel bolts....
Posted on 17 Jul
Rytov continues to defend lead at 2017 Melges 20 European Championship
On the eve of final day at Melges 20 European Championship Russia's Igor Rytov & his Russian Bogatyrs remains in command On the eve of the final day at the 2017 Melges 20 European Championship, Russia's Igor Rytov and his Russian Bogatyrs remains in command. Thanks to a very consistent performance thus far, they are inching ever closer to capturing the top European title and trophy.
Posted on 15 Jul
Get better wave forecasts from PredictWind and ECMWF
Predictwind is well-known for accurate wind forecasts but now leads the way with accurate wave forecasts PredictWind is well known for its world leading accurate wind forecasts, but did you know Predictwind also leads the way with accurate wave forecasts?
Posted on 12 Jul
Centennial Transat builds bridge to a flying future
The Queen Mary 2 won its battle with the four 30-meter trimarans, as expected, in upwind conditions for the sailboats The race was timed to mark a hundred years since American troops arrived on the shores of France in WW1, and it also brought together all of the fastest Ultimate trimarans for the first time as the class begins to take flight.
Posted on 7 Jul
X-Yachts announce the new X49 as the latest member of the 'X' range
In 2016, X-Yachts launched the new pure ‘X’ range which included the X4³ and the X65.  In 2016, X-Yachts launched the new pure ‘X’ range, which included the X43 and the X65. This range was exceptionally well received by both press and clients, with more than 50 yachts sold in the first year. The ‘X’ range incorporates the best elements from both the Xcruising range and the Xperformance range into one beautifully designed performance cruiser
Posted on 6 Jul
Sailors for the Sea named an Environmental Innovator of the Year
Green Sports Alliance presented annual Environmental Leadership Award and Environmental Innovators of the Year Awards The Green Sports Alliance presented their annual Environmental Leadership Award and Environmental Innovators of the Year Awards, the highlight of their annual Green Sports Celebration on Wednesday, June 28th at the Green Sports Alliance Summit in Sacramento, CA.
Posted on 5 Jul
The Bridge – Colville nurses boat and crewman to third place finish
Arriving in New York on Independence Day will be some consolation for finishing lower on the podium than Colville wanted Sodebo Ultim’ finished five hours nine minutes and 52 seconds after second-placed IDEC Sport and 15 hours 47 minutes and 35 seconds after the winner Macif.
Posted on 4 Jul
The Bridge – Francis takes second but not passing the flame on yet
Joyon and his crew of Alex Pella, Gwénolé Gahinet, Sébastien Picault and Quentin Ponroy exchanged the lead with Macif IDEC Sport remained in the hunt, 30-50 miles behind, and Joyon used all his nous to make it quickly through transition zones and keep a boat 10 years older and several tonnes heavier in contention.
Posted on 4 Jul
François Gabart and Macif win The Bridge – Centennial Transat
François Gabart and his five-man crew on Macif have won The Bridge – Centennial Transat trimaran race François Gabart and his five-man crew on Macif have won The Bridge – Centennial Transat trimaran race, crossing the finish line under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York, on Monday, July 3 at 13:31:20 (local time), 08 days, 00 hours 31 minutes and 20 seconds after leaving from under the Saint-Nazaire Bridge. Macif sailed 3,582.13 nautical miles at an average speed of 18.61 knots.
Posted on 4 Jul