EU Naval Forces Thwart Pirate Attack, Capture Suspects in Gulf of Aden

Pirate Attack Capture

11th May 2024

Report : EU Forces Halt Pirate Attack, Detain Suspects in Gulf of Aden.

European Union Naval Forces (EU NAVFOR) successfully prevented a potential hijacking and apprehended six suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden on Friday. The incident, which highlights the lingering threat of piracy in the region, involved a product tanker, the Marshall Islands-flagged “Chrystal Arctic,” and a group of armed individuals.

According to the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), a small craft carrying an estimated 5-6 armed individuals approached the “Chrystal Arctic” roughly 100 nautical miles north of Bosaso, Somalia. The vessel’s Master reported implementing established self-protection measures, a likely deterrent tactic that may have included maneuvers and water cannons. The situation escalated when the individuals on the small craft opened fire. The ship’s private security team returned fire, forcing the pirates to abandon their attempt.

Gulf of Aden

Fortunately, the crew of the “Chrystal Arctic” emerged unharmed from the encounter. However, the incident underscores the continued need for vigilance against piracy in the Gulf of Aden. Thankfully, EU NAVFOR’s Operation Atlanta, a longstanding anti-piracy mission, was present in the region. A nearby EU warship, later identified as the Italian frigate ITS Federico Martino, swiftly responded to the distress call.

The EU force apprehended the six suspected pirates after assessing the situation and deeming their small craft unsafe. Notably, some of the detained individuals reportedly sustained injuries of varying severity. EUNAVFOR is currently conducting a thorough investigation, gathering evidence to determine the full details of the incident and the pirates’ origin.

Also Read : Indian Coast Guard Detains Iranian Vessel with Indian Crew off Kerala Coast

This event serves as a crucial reminder that piracy in the Gulf of Aden, while significantly reduced in recent years, remains a potential threat. At its peak in 2011, Somali pirates hijacked hundreds of vessels, disrupting global trade routes and costing billions of dollars. International efforts, including Operation Atalanta, have significantly curbed piracy activity. However, this recent incident demonstrates that continued vigilance is essential.

The success of EU NAVFOR’s intervention highlights the importance of international cooperation in combating piracy. The presence of a well-equipped and coordinated naval force serves as a deterrent to potential pirates and provides a swift response when incidents occur. Additionally, collaboration between commercial shipping companies and private security teams plays a vital role in protecting vessels and crews.


The capture of suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden is a positive development in the fight against maritime crime. While piracy has declined significantly, this recent incident serves as a reminder that continued vigilance is crucial. International cooperation through forces like EU NAVFOR, coupled with proactive measures by commercial shipping companies, is essential to maintaining a safe and secure maritime environment in the Gulf of Aden and beyond.

Also Read : Houthis Launch Drone and Missile Attacks on Four Ships in Red Sea and Indian Ocean

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