During a recent port visit to Salalah, Oman, naval officers from EU Naval Forec Italian frigate, ITS Espero, took the opportunity and visited a cruise ship and two merchant ships, TG Aphrodite and Darya Mahesh, which were also berthed alongside, to talk about the recent pirate incidents in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.
During their visits ITS Espero’s team explained the role of the EU Naval Force to deter acts of piracy and protect World Food Programme vessels carrying much-needed humanitarian aid to the Somali people. ITS Espero’s officers also reinforced the need for vessels to adhere to the recommended ‘BMP’ self-protection measures to reduce the possibility of being attacked by pirates.
Operation Atalanta was launched by the European Union in 2008 following a surge in armed pirate attacks on seafarers and their vessels. With close cooperation between the counter-piracy naval forces and self-protection efforts by the maritime industry, pirate attacks have been largely suppressed in recent years.
The recent pirate attacks highlight the need for continued vigilance when transiting the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.