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article imageSouth African who wouldn't cooperate with pirates rescued by EU Special

By Christopher Szabo     Nov 8, 2010 in Crime
Mombasa - The skipper of a yacht captured by pirates has been rescued by the EU’s Naval Force in Somalia, EU NAVFOR after refusing to cooperate with them and leave his vessel.
According to the Guardian, the yacht was captured by Somali pirates off the coast of Kenya last week.
Meanwhile, an EU NAVFOR media release says the yacht was located Saturday, 6 November by the French frigate FS Floreal, operating as part of EUNAVFOR. The release said observers aboard the warship found it to be sailing “suspiciously close to shore”
The Floreal tried to make contact with the yacht, even flying its helicopter overhead, but received no answer so the warship deployed its boarding team to investigate.The team came under fire from the yacht and a distress signal was also received, leaving no doubt that the team was dealing with a case of piracy and that the crew of three were in the hands of the pirates.
The skipper has been rescued by the crew of the Floreal and has since been handed on to South African authorities, according to an update by EU NAVFOR.
The incident has caused media speculation in South Africa, with conflicting reports. Newspaper reports said the skipper had been shot and that the “others” were a woman and a child. The South African Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) confirmed, according to an Eyewitness News report, that all three were in fact South Africans.
Asked to clarify the situation, Sub-Lieutenant Delphine Benyakhlef of EU NAVFOR’s media section told Digital Journal in an e-mail:
We can confirm that only one yacht was involved in this case. We do not have any information regarding any other pirated yacht. We also confirm that the rescued yachtsman is safe, as he was taken onboard one of our EU NAVFOR warships.
She added:
We are not in a position to release his name.
The whereabouts of the other crew members is not known, but EU NAVFOR reports its forces are continuing the search.
More about Eunavfor, South african, Yacht, Navy, Piracy
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