Press release


April 21, 2011

President James Michel, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, has congratulated the Seychelles Coast Guard, the Tazar force and SPDF units who took part in the operation to rescue the 4 Seychellois fishermen who had been taken hostage on Tuesday.

“It is the third time we have managed to rescue our Seychellois fishermen from the pirates, it is yet another victory for Seychelles! …. I would like to congratulate our Armed Forces; our Coast Guard, our Air Force, our Special Forces Tazar, for this combined operation which has resulted in the rescue of our Seychellois fishermen. I share in the pride and the joy of the Seychellois people and their families, welcoming them back. They have done a marvelous job, a great job!” said the President at the Coast Guard base. The President came to the Coast Guard this morning to meet the Andromache, which returned with the former hostages as well as the captured pirates.

The President said the people of Seychelles are proud of the Armed Forces and asked them to continue to do a great job in protecting the country from pirate attacks. The President also thanked the Government of India for the air surveillance support that was provided by the Indian Dornier Aircraft during the operation.

“With the help of friendly countries such as India and the UAE, who have provided an airplane and 5 patrol vessels, we have been able to conduct our operations successfully,” said President Michel.

The President greeted the Commanding Officer of the Andromache Captain Fernand Laporte and the Seychellois fishermen Frank Orphe, Beatty Soufe and Angelin Dorizo, as well as all the officers of the SPDF who took part in the operation.

The fishermen were also met by their families, while Bernard Reginald is recovering from his wounds at Seychelles Hospital following his early transfer yesterday afternoon.

“ We share the joy of their families in their safe return. As I said before, we will never let the pirates take our Seychellois fishermen to Somalia. We will do everything it takes to protect them and bring them home safely. We have shown the world that we can do it!”

Editor’s Note

  • The Seychelles Coast Guard rescued four Seychellois fishermen on the fishing vessel “Gloria” on Wednesday 20th April morning, that had been captured by Somali pirates yesterday.
  • On Tuesday 19th April, the Seychelles Coast Guard received a distress call from an unknown fishing vessel that was later identified as a local fishing vessel “Gloria.”
  • President James Michel, the Commander in Chief of the Seychelles People’s Defense Forces, immediately ordered a rescue mission for the fishermen and the Seychelles Coast Guard vessels Andromache and La Flèche, as well as a fast response boat, together with the SPDF with Tazar personel, and the Indian Dornier surveillance aircraft were launched in the operation.
  • This is the first operation, where a female officer of the Seychelles Coast Guard has taken part.
  • In the evening of 19th April, a discreet approach was made by the Seychelles Coast Guard vessels towards the “Gloria”, while tracking the vessel on radar. The Seychelles Coast Guard made several radio calls ordering the “Gloria” to stop but no response was received from the pirates.
  • The Coast Guard and Tazar then launched an operation at first light this morning which resulted in the rescue of the four Seychellois fishermen and the capture of the seven suspected pirates. The operation was conducted approximately 150 nautical miles North East of Mahé.
  • One Seychellois fisherman, Bernard Reginald, was wounded during the operation, and is being treated for his upper arm flesh wounds at Seychelles Hospital. He is well, and walking and talking.
  • The three Somali suspected pirates who were also wounded during the operation have also arrived on Mahé. It has been confirmed that one of the three Somali men died during the journey. The other two are being given medical treatment. The remaining four suspected pirates were arrested and  have been taken into Police custody.
  • The first time the Seychelles Coast Guard operated a rescue mission to free Seychellois fishermen from pirates was on 29th March 2010 when 6 crew members of the Galate fishing vessel were rescued , together with 21 Iranian men, and 9 Somali pirates were arrested. The second time was on 20th November 2010, when 7 Seychellois fishermen were rescued on the Faith vessel, and 11 pirates arrested.