Update 1-14-2012: Six pirates were detained, all with injuries. Two of the six will require additional medical treatment. A report that a seventh pirate was killed in the firefight and tossed overboard by his mates has not been confirmed.
About 3:30 a.m. local time on January 12, a skiff with six pirates on board opened fire on the SPS Patino. The Spanish auxiliary oiler and replenishment ship, the SPS Patino, is currently the Flagship of the European Union Naval Force Somalia. It carries Spanish Marines and helicopters, as well as housing the command staff for the EUNavFor. The ship resembles a merchant vessel in many respects and the pirates may not have realized in the darkness that it was not a civilian ship.
The press release from the Ministry of Defense reports that the gunfire was returned by Patino. The skiff fled and was pursued by a helicopter. The crew of the helicopter observed several weapons on board the skiff. When hailed, the crew of the skiff surrendered. The Spanish have five pirates in custody. One additional pirate was killed in the action and tossed overboard by his crewmates. No injuries were sustained by Spanish personnel.
Press release in Spanish The SPS Patino escorted a convoy of three merchant ships to Somalia in mid December, carrying humanitarian assistance. The ships were under charter to the World Food Program. This was a first for Patino, and unusual in that three ships were involved. Normally only one civilian vessel is escorted at a time.
Table of contents for Pirates
- Peleliu Stops Pirate Attack
- Navy Tanker fights Off Pirates
- Navy Continues to Eye Pirates
- US Navy Aids Ship Released By Pirates
- US Navy Jugs Somali Pirates
- Navy Detains Somali Pirates
- Maersk Alabama Taken By Somali Pirates
- Navy Rescues Pirate Captive
- Pics From the Pirate Rescue Off Somalia
- This Is a Pirate Ship?
- USS McFaul nabs pirates off Oman
- Marine Hymn still echoes: Pirates taken down off Somalia
- German Navy Intercepts Somali Pirates
- Royal Marines Free Pirated Ship Off Somalia
- Pirate Mother Ship Taken Down, Sailors Freed
- Pirates Attack Spanish Warship
- Somali Piracy Update
- Dutch Navy sinks Somali pirate ship