Frigate rescues 10 after leaving Mahé



The French frigate Surcouf

The European Union Naval Force reported on Monday that – just a week after the commander of the warship hosted a January 3 reception on board the vessel here – soldiers on board rescued the 10 mariners at sea 30 miles off the coast of Somalia “after their dhow started to sink into the deep ocean”.

“The master of the Indian flagged dhow had sent out a distress call after its engine failed and the vessel started letting in water,” said the EU NAVFOR in a statement.

“Upon hearing the distress call, the FS Surcouf – which was conducting counter piracy patrols 26 nautical miles away – raced to assist the mariners who by then had abandoned ship in rough seas and climbed into the dhow’s life raft.”

“Upon arrival at the scene, a team of sailors from the Surcouf helped to evacuate the men – who were in deep shock – to the French warship,” said the statement, which added the men were “very relieved to be rescued”, and were offered hot showers, food and dry clothes.
“Forty five minutes after being rescued, the mariners watched as their stricken dhow disappeared into the sea.

Guests during the reception on board the Surcouf in Port Victoria on January 3

“After taking time to recover onboard the Surcouf, the 10 mariners were then transferred to EU NAVFOR warship, Belgium frigate BNS Louise Marie, for their onward journey to land.
Speaking about his ordeal, the master of the dhow said:
“All 10 of us know that we are very lucky that warships from the European Union Naval Force were close by and could save us.

We have been so well cared for by sailors from both the Surcouf and the Louise Marie.

I would also like to thank all the counter piracy warships in the Indian Ocean because, thanks to them, the seas are safer from pirates.”

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