The Spanish Warship ESPS Patiño of EU NAVFOR has been continuing its duties to reinforce relationships off the Somali coast since arriving in the region in December.
Approaches and discussions with mariners are regularly conducted by EU NAVFOR warships as a part of routine maritime security and counter-piracy operations in the area. Their purpose is to get information that can assist counter-piracy operations and also provide reassurance in the area. EU NAVFOR warships remain an impartial and unbiased force as they support regional maritime security.
ESPS Patiño has carried out a number of approaches to fishermen since joining Op Atalanta. The fisherman welcomed the marines on board and they discussed issues around piracy and how it affects their livelihoods. The marines explained EU NAVFOR's mission in deterring piracy and to monitor fishing activities throughout the area. With air support from the ship's SH60B Helicopter, the marine boarding party of ESPS Patiño approached another fishing boat with eight fishermen on board and they were questioned about their activities. One of them had toothache, and, in a gesture of kindness, he was brought on board to be examined by the dentist and provided some treatment.
ESPS Patiño also continues EU NAVFOR's mission to protect World Food Programme and other vulnerable shipping from the threat of piracy around the Horn of Africa and in the Somali Basin, and to engage with regional partners to build maritime capabilities.