Apr 24, 2012 (LBO) – An European Union warship has rescued six Sri Lankan fishermen from Somali pirates off the coast of Tanzania, who would be flown home, the EU delegation in Colombo said. A Spanish warship Infanta Elena, which is part of an EU Naval force had boarded the fishing vessel which had been pirated since November 2011 and been used to attack other ships and also captured seven suspected pirates.
“The tired, but very relieved Sri Lankan fishermen were handed over to Tanzanian maritime
forces..” an EU statement said.
“Arrangements are now being made to fly the fishermen home to Sri Lanka.”
The EU delegation office in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam had helped the Sri Lankan fishermen contact their families at home.
The captured pirates were released to the Somali coast because there was no agreement with Tanzania to transfer pirates between Europe and Tanzania. But an agreement is being negotiated, the EU statement said.
Tanzanian authorities had also arrested five pirate suspects when their attack boat, which was believed to have been operated off the pirated Sri Lankan fishing vessels, beached on their coast.