Tanker Pirate Assault Foiled by Operation Atalanta

AI image of modern day pirates in small vessel
Updated Published

On May 10, during a maritime security operation near Somalia, the EUNAVFOR Operation Atalanta confirmed its naval forces had apprehended a group of suspected pirates attempting to attack the chemical tanker Chrystal Arctic.

The incident unfolded approximately 100 nautical miles north of Bosaso, Somalia, and west of Socotra Island, Yemen. The Chrystal Arctic, en route to Egypt from India, was approached by a small boat carrying six individuals. These individuals, suspected of piracy, were reportedly equipped with weapons and a ladder to board the tanker.

The sequence of events leading to gunfire remains unclear. Some sources indicate that the tanker’s security personnel fired warning shots which led the pirates to return fire, while other reports claim the pirates fired first. Following evasive maneuvers by the Chrystal Arctic, the pirates eventually retreated.

An Operation Atalanta naval vessel, patrolling nearby, was alerted to the situation and swiftly intervened to assist the tanker. The naval forces reached the scene promptly, taking the six suspected pirates into custody.

EUNAVFOR Operation Atalanta has since launched an investigation to further assess and gather evidence about this piracy attempt. This action follows a recent advisory from the Maritime Information Corporation & Awareness Center, which earlier in the week warned of a potential pirate mothership operating about 350 nautical miles east of Socotra.