One Hostage Rescued, One Killed in Pirate Attack Off Yemen

We aren’t sure how many more times it needs to be said, but we’ll keep saying it. Stay out of this area of the ocean. We know it’s not fair that the pirates are getting what they want, but is it really worth losing your life over?

Spanish troops from warship Galicia have stormed a pirate skiff in the Gulf of Aden and rescued a French hostage sailor, Evelyne Colombo, missing from her yacht Tribal Kat. It has now been confirmed that her husband, Christian Colombo, a former French navy crewman, was killed during the attack and his body dumped overboard. The families have been informed. Contrary to earlier reports from Yemen authorities, there appear to have been no other crew on board.

The Colombos were experienced sailors and had been sailing their 17-metre catamaran on a round world cruise since 2008.

A German warship, the FGS Bayern, found the couple’s yacht adrift in waters off Yemen on Thursday after it had responded to a distress call. There was no one on board and the EU Atalanta naval command launched an air and sea search for the attackers. French officials said there were signs of a struggle on board the yacht, with blood stains and bullet holes. The yacht was towed to Djibouti to be studied by agents from the DGSE spy agency.

The Spanish defense ministry stated that the Galicia had detected a skiff “engaged in activities related to piracy while it was on a surveillance mission off the Somali coast.”

When the skiff ignored an order to stop, the commander of the Galicia ordered his men to open fire. At that time, it was discovered that they had a hostage on board, who was a woman.

The amphibious ship proceeded to intercept the pirate vessel. The operation involved a helicopter and naval warfare team, who fired on the engine of the boat to disable it.

Following an exchange of fire, the pirate ship sank and the Spanish troops rescued the hostage.

For the complete story, go to www.sail-world.com.

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