Archive for December 2018

Ten Years of Operation Atalanta: EU NAVFOR Helicopters   Leave a comment



EU NAVFOR warships have patrolled the waters off the coast of Somalia for over 10 years now. The worst of the Somali piracy crisis in 2011 has been repressed, but the need for ongoing patrols in the western Indian Ocean remains. EU NAVFOR relies on warships and helicopters provided by EU States in order to combat that piracy threat.

The maritime helicopter is an exceptionally versatile component in the Force Commander’s armory. Helicopters provide an ideal deterrence, disruption and a surveillance capability dealing with piracy; they also provide the ability to move people and supplies quickly and effectively, often between ships, or into remote or inaccessible areas.

14 EU Member States have provided warships to EU NAVFOR since 2008, as have partner nations like Norway, Ukraine and Korea and Colombia, so a variety of helicopters have been embarked.


Posted December 30, 2018 by rrts in -NEWS

Three Abducted in Suspected Abu Sayyaf Attack   Leave a comment

file photo
file photo


The ReCAAP ISC has reported that three men were abducted from a vessel by 20 armed men believed to be from the Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines on December 5.

The name and type of the vessel the men were abducted from is uncertain, but local media outlets indicate that the men were taken from a fishing vessel. The crew, one Malaysian and two Indonesians, have been taken to Pata in the Sulu Province. One has since been released, according to some media reports.

The Star reports that the same group of armed men were involved in the shooting of a tugboat crew member during a botched kidnap attempt on the same day.

The fishing boat abductions are the second actual abductions reported in the region this year. The first occurred on board the fishing trawler Sri Dewi 1 on September 11. Two crewmen were abducted off Sabah; one was rescued on December 5.

There were three incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported in Asia in November 2018, reports ReCAAP ISC. One occurred in the South China Sea and two occurred at anchorages in Batangas, Philippines. Six incidents occurred in October, and 73 incidents occurred between January and November this year. This is a 15 percent decrease on the same period in 2017.

As the threat of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off eastern Sabah remains, ReCAAP ISC urges masters and crew to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the region.

Posted December 15, 2018 by rrts in -NEWS

Tug Crewmember Repels Pirates with Flare Gun   Leave a comment

Abu Sayyaf members in an undated video still (file image)


On Wednesday, the crew of an Indonesian tugboat successfully repelled four armed attackers near Pegasus Reef, located in the piracy-prone waters off Sabah, Malaysia.

According to local media, a speedboat with four men aboard approached the tugboat Magtrans II on Wednesay evening. The boat’s occupants opened fire as they neared, striking the master, Didy Saviady. The aggressors boarded and most of the crew retreated within the tug. According to local police, one crewmember on the third deck returned fire with flare guns, discharging about ten rounds and causing the attackers to abandon their attempt.

Police commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah told Malaysian media that Saviady sustained a gunshot wound in the left thigh, and he was evacuated to a hospital in Lahad Datu.

The identity of the attackers is unknown. The majority of previous hijacking and kidnapping attempts in the Sulu-Celebes Sea region have been linked to the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, which is based in the Sulu archipelago.

During the inquiry into the attack on the tug, police forces discovered a fishing boat drifting without any occupants, left with its engine running. The boat’s owner later reported that the four fishermen who normally operate it had gone missing. Commissioner Mammah said that it is not yet certain whether the fishermen were kidnapped, as no one has yet claimed responsibility for an abduction or demanded a ransom payment.

Separately, on the day of the attack on the tug, Abu Sayyaf militants freed an Indonesian fisherman who had been captured off Sabah in September. The victim, Usman Yusuf, 35, was released to authorities near Jolo, Sulu.

Posted December 9, 2018 by rrts in -NEWS