Posted on February 24, 2018 by Ashleigh Cowie
EU NAVFOR have praised the crew on board MT Leopard Sun for the speed and efficiency of their actions when they came under attack from armed pirates on the 23rd February.
At approximately 0300 local time on the 23rd February, the motor tanker Leopard Sun was attacked 160 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia.
The pirates approached the Singapore flagged 50,000 metric tonne vessel on two skiffs as it was on its way from Sohar, Sultanate of Oman to Cape Town, South Africa.
The pirates fired upon the chemical tanker, causing the on-board private armed security team to return warning shots. The incident lasted approximately 20 minutes before the pirates gave up attempts to board the ship.
The crew employed the full range of Best Management Practices (BMP4) as well as the actions of the embarked private armed security team (PAST).
EU NAVFOR confirmed the vessel and crew are now safe.
EU NAVFOR INVESTIGATION
EU NAVFOR has been in contact with the shipping company and the ship’s master to further assess the incident. It is clear the ship, crew and the security team demonstrated a very high standard of self-protection protocols in line with BMP4. The reporting of the incident to UKMTO/ EU NAVFOR MSCHOA was exemplary in both speed and detail, including the damage to the ship from gunfire from the skiffs.
EU NAVFOR MSCHOA issued navigation warnings and alerts to inform both mariners and merchant vessels in the High Risk Area, and the wider shipping industry of the attack. Merchant vessels in the proximity of the location where the incident took place have been warned directly of the existence of a potential Pirate Action Group (PAG).
EU NAVFOR and CMF together with military partners will continue to coordinate their understanding and response to this incident. This attack, which is likely to be piracy related, was the first such incident since the attack on the MV EVER DYNAMIC in November 2017.
current counter-piracy military operation at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean, that is the first undertaken by the European Union Naval Force.
EU NAVFOR are the counter-piracy military operation at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean, that is the first undertaken by the European Union Naval Force.
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