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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Somali Pirates: Dutch Pirate Cleanser

From the EU MSC(HOA):

Early this morning, 17 March, two small skiffs made a fast approach on the EU NAVFOR Dutch HNLMS TROMP with, what appeared, to be a pirate attack.
The TROMP fired warning shots as they approached and it was this action that alerted the “would be” pirates to the fact that they were trying to attack a well armed Naval warship.
The warship, HNLMS TROMP of the Royal Netherlands Navy, was patrolling the region as part of the ongoing EU counter-piracy mission, when it was approached at high speed by two small vessels, known as skiffs, shortly after 0630 GMT. Warning shots were fired by the naval vessel, which also deployed its helicopter to intercept the suspects who attempted to flee. An EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) from Sweden was also on the scene, tracking a third boat, the suspected pirates’ mother ship, and monitoring the safety of any merchant shipping in the area.
A search of the skiffs by the EU NAVFOR ship uncovered ammunition and some rocket propelled grenades were also found. Ten suspects were held on board the warship before being released to one of their boats. Having completed the search, the warship destroyed the other two skiffs and reported the incident to the Seychelles Coast Guard, with whom the EU NAVFOR works closely. This is the 11th Pirate Attack Group that EU NAVFOR has been involved in disrupting in the last 2 weeks.
Cleaning up the sea. Nice.

UPDATE: Post title was even more appropriate than I knew. From the Royal Netherlands Navy website here, more on the "sweeping up" of the pirates (Google translation):
Frigate Again Arrests Somali Pirates

The frigate Hr. Ms. Tromp again today discovered and disarmed a group of pirates. The air defense and command frigate Tromp is the Somali coast engaged in Operation Sweeping Broom "and grabbed 9 pirates earlier this week after a failed robbery attempt.
Almost immediately after the earlier arrest Tromp discovered 3 boats again, a mother and 2 small skiffs with pirates. The pirates were now found nearly 400 kilometer southwest of the Seychelles. After the boats were detected  by radar at about 30 kilometers, action was taken. With the Lynx helicopter on board and 2 RHIB (rigid-hulled inflatable boat) with special units of the Marines the 3 skiffs were forced to stop. Several warning shots fired from a helicopter and the RHIB.

On board the skiffs were found several indications of piracy, and weapons such as ladders. All 13 skiff crew were arrested and then placed in a boat with sufficient fuel, water and food in the mother skiff located so they can reach the Seychelles, according to EU directives. The Seychelles Coastguard was informed of the upcoming skiff. The 2 pirate skiffs were destroyed by Hr.Ms. Tromp and piracy attributes were seized.
The 9 pirates arrested earlier this week are still aboard. The Tromp will assist them in the course of this week off the coast of Somalia.

Operation 'Sweeping Broom "will continue to deter pirates. With the current "sweep" is a symbolic link to the namesake of the Tromp, Admiral Maarten Tromp. After his victory over the British in 1652 he had a broom to the mast as a sign that bind the sea was swept clean. Since then located in the cabin of the commander of all Dutch naval vessel named Hr. Ms. Tromp a broom. For special events, the broom hoisted a sign that the ocean Tromp rid of anyone who stands in the way of peace.

Lower photo caption: "The commander of Hr. Ms. Tromp,Captain Hans Lodder, next to the broom in the cabin." All photos inthe update from Netherlands Ministry of Defense.

His broom is more traditional than mine, but the meaning is the same.

UPDATE2: It occurs to me that some of you may be too young to know about Old Dutch Cleanser, a pumice based cleaning product popular in the early 20th Century.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:54 PM

    Four-oh for The Dutch Navy and MS Tromp. Sea bullies beware, y'all are going to be 'swept' from the sea. EN1 (SS) Ed Floyd USNR-Ret