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PUNTLAND MARITIME POLICE FORCE HELPS RECOVER FISHING VESSEL STRANDED ON THE COAST NORTH OF EYL

March 23, 2012 – Eyl, Puntland State of Somalia – The Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) provided critical rescue assistance to a fishing vessel stranded on the shores north of Eyl.

The PMPF was alerted to the grounding of the ship the morning of the 22nd, and within hours a unit departed on the treacherous drive north to provide rescue assistance.

Arriving just before nightfall, the Platoon Leader, Lieutenant Mumin Abdi Shire, assessed the situation, and after speaking with the Captain of the ship, agreed to begin unloading the vessel of its cargo of 12 tons of fish at daybreak the following morning.

The sight of the ship that greeted the PMPF upon their arrival

By removing the fish and transferring it to another dhow, the platoon leader and captain hoped to save the cargo and decrease the overall weight of the ship, thus affording the PMPF and members of the community an opportunity to free it from the location where it was trapped on the beach.

On the morning of the 23rd, a PMPF unit arrived at the accident site at 5:30 am, and immediately began to assist the community in unloading the ship’s cargo.

The fish was transferred from the ice-packed hold of the stricken ship to small motorboats for the short journey to a dhow waiting only 400 meters from the coast.

From there, the fish was packed in ice in the hold of the dhow for transport to the markets of Yemen – a three-day journey by sea.

Before noon, the stricken vessel precious cargo has been successfully transferred. The PMPF and community then settled in to await the rising of the tide.

At 2:15 pm, the waters of the Indian Ocean began to rise, surrounding the beached craft, which began to lift from the sand that entrapped it.

PMPF members pushing fish-laden motorboats into the waiting sea

Lead by Lieutenant Mumin Abdi Shire and Sergeant Mohamed Ali Ahmed, the PMPF and members of the community began to push and pull the vessel from its berth. The work was hard and dangerous, as the boat at times seemed to be on the verge of capsizing on top of those who were trying to free it.

But in the end, the combined effort succeeded, as the boat was freed before a crowd that had swelled to over 100 people.

PMPF and the community pushing and pulling the vessel to safety

Only a day before, it seemed unlikely that the boat would be freed and its cargo successfully transferred. However, the PMPF and local community members developed a plan and then executed the plan in a way that defied the treacherous beaches and sand bars.

Following the completion of his mission, LT Mumin Abdi Shire said that he was proud of what the PMPF accomplished, adding that, “the PMPF is here to serve the people of this community.”

His remarks were echoed by Mohamed Ali Ahmed, who stated that he was the service that the PMPF is able to render to the citizens of Puntland.

About the Puntland Maritime Police Force

The PMPF is a professional, locally-recruited coastal police force in the Puntland State of Somalia. The PMPF’s mission is to promote peace and stability in the region by deterring, detecting, and eradicating piracy, illegal fishing and other coastal crimes; protecting marine resources; and delivering much-needed humanitarian relief supplies to Puntland’s citizens.

The PMPF directly responds to calls from the United Nation and international community for regional Somali authorities to enhance their law enforcement and security capacities. Relevant Somali authorities have briefed and notified the United Nations about the PMPF and its activities on a number of occasions.

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Media Contact:

Mr. Abdirazak Mohamed Mohamud

Project Coordinator

Presidential Office

Tel: +252-90-79617

PMPF members assisting in the transfer of fish from the hold of the stricken ship to awaiting motorboats that would – in turn - transfer the cargo to another ship offshore

Members of the community celebrate and cheer on the PMPF following the freeing of the stricken ship

The ship, freed from the beach, clears the sandbars

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