EU Naval Force Flagship ESPS Méndez Núnez assists 'MV Smyrni' after it sails out of the Somali pirate's holding anchorage.
MV Smyrni, with a crew of 26, was carrying 135,000 tonnes of crude oil when she was hijacked on 11 May 2012. After ten months of being held in a pirate anchorage off the Somali coast, it is understood that a ransom was paid for the vessel, and on 10 March 2013, she was released by her captors.
After being informed of the release, and fresh from providing assistance to chemical tanker MV Royal Grace, ESPS Mendez Nunez was tasked to closely monitor MV Smyrni as she moved away from the pirate anchorage. EU NAVFOR German and Spanish P-3 maritime patrol aircraft also provided reconnaissance support overhead.
Later, a private security team was engaged by the ship’s owner to protect the vessel as she proceeded north to Salalah. The warship returned to her normal station.