29 March 2009

Incident: Pirates attack naval vessel

The German naval tanker FGS Spessart is attacked by Somali pirates 85 miles off the port of Bosaso and returns fire. Working under EU command as part of the Atalanta operation, Spessart chases the pirate skiff with helicopter assistance, turning the chase over to a Greek Atalanta vessel which concludes a five-hour pursuit by boarding and capturing seven men. The incident involved Spanish, Dutch, and USMC assets as well. "The pirates will remain onboard the German frigate [Rheinland-Pfalz] until a final determination is made regarding potential prosecution." (ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping Report, 04/08/09)