HNLMS Van Amstel returns from pirate hunt
16 June 2012, 13.00 hrs
Multipurpose frigate HNLMS Van Amstel today returned to its home base of Den Helder. For the past three months, the ship was deployed to counter piracy in the waters of Somalia. The Van Amstel also escorted UN World Food Programme ships sailing in the area.
The navy frigate left for the Somali Basin, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea on 19 March to take part in Operation Atalanta, the EU counterpiracy mission. The Van Amstel proved successful in disrupting pirates’ actions and protecting vulnerable shipping in the area.
During the mission, the Royal Netherlands Navy ship brought a successful end to a ship-jacking after a boat with two suspect skiffs with ladders had been spotted by the on-board Lynx helicopter. The navy’s special boarding unit approached the vessel and managed to free 17 crew members who had been taken hostage. The suspected pirates were handed over to the authorities on the Seychelles for prosecution.