Private security guards on a Spanish fishing vessel repelled a pirate attack in the Indian Ocean southwest of the Seychelles, according to Defence Ministry.

The fishing vessel and personnel did not suffered any personal injury after the attack. The incident was reported by telephone from the vessel Ortubé Berria to the Centre for Maritime Surveillance Operations. The report of attack said that the trawler was being attacked by two skiffs 230 nautical miles southwest of the Seychelles.

The pirates opened fire with light weapons and a rocket-propelled grenade, but after thirty minutes of chase, the private security team aboard repelled the attack using their weapons.

The trawler’s captain, Iker Barbas, said there were about four people in each of the skiffs and they were going fast enough to have caught up with the trawler eventually.
The attempted hijacking came less than two weeks after another Spanish trawler, the Alakrana, was released by Somali pirates who had held it and its crew of 36 for nearly seven weeks.

“They would not give up. They would simply not give up,” he told Cadena Ser radio. “If we had not been armed, they would have caught us.”

An EU naval force staging an anti-piracy operation in the Indian Ocean summoned a Portuguese frigate and a patrol plane to the area.

In late October the government passed a decree allowing Spanish fishing vessels in the Indian Ocean to carry private armed security guards to fight off pirate attacks.

Spanish ship owners had pressed the government to put troops on Spanish fishing in the Indian Ocean, as France does with its boats. But the government says Spanish law does not allow the military to be used for protecting private property.

All Spanish vessels off Somalia now have security guards aboard.

As maritime lawyers, we know that seamen, especially those on vessels in pirate-infested waters continue to be at risk of an attack. Please contact us at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers.