Carré d'As IV incident
|Carré d'As IV incident|
|Part of Piracy in Somalia, Operation Atalanta|
|Casualties and losses|
|none||1 yacht captured
On September 16, 2008, a military operation was conducted by French forces off Somalia to retake the yacht Carré d'As IV from Somali pirates on September 2, 2008. The operation was successful and the two hostages were rescued, the yacht was recovered, one pirate was killed, and six pirates were captured.
The 50-foot Carré d'As IV had been sailing from Australia to the Suez Canal when on September 2 when was attacked by pirates and captured with its two crew, Jean-Yves and Bernadette Delanne, who were taken and held for ransom. Four days later the French frigate Courbet (F 712) arrived on the scene and began shadowing the captured yacht. When contacted, the pirates demanded a one million dollar ransom and the release of six other pirates that were in French custody. The pirates then set course for the city of Eyl on the coast of Puntland, which many pirate gangs use as a base of operations.
The French government refused to negotiate and instead sent in a military team of 30 combat divers to assault and retake the Carré d'As IV. After arriving on the Courbet, the commandos were flown by helicopter and dropped off by parachute into the sea close to the yacht. The commandos then swam to the captured vessel and boarded her with grappling hooks. The pirates were taken completely by surprise and only one pirate attempted to resist and was quickly shot and killed. Six other pirates on the yacht were captured, and the two hostages were released ten minutes after the assault began.
The French authorities then took the pirates to Djibouti where they will be flown to France to stand trial. French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated that the pirates would only be handed over to Somali authorities if it was clear that they would be prosecuted and punished for their actions.