December 26, 2008
German frigate foils pirate attack
Just days after joining the EU Operation Atalanta antpiracy mission, the German frigate Karlsruhe yesterday foiled an attack in the Gulf of Aden by Somali pirates
The frigate was notified yesterday morning that the Egyptian bulk carrier Wadi Alarab was under attack. Although the bulker was not directly under Operation Atalanta protection, the frigate sent one of its two helicopters in response.
The helicopter fired a warning round and the pirates gave up the attack, though not before wounding one of the bulker's 31 crew members.
Subsequently boats from the Karlsruhe captured six of the pirates. They were disarmed but later released on orders from Berlin. Current German law and rules of engagement apparently only permit pirates to be detained when there has been injury to German property or persons.
The wounded crew member was evacuated by the second of the Karlsruhe's helicopters for treatment aboard the frigate before transfer to a shoreside hospital.