Three days ago, the frigate and he crew were in the Kenyan port of Mombasa preparing to leave for Somalia with the merchant vessel MV Abdul Rahman and its cargo of food aid. The frigate's captain, Commander Chris Dickinson met with local officials to discuss the journey and the threats that loomed not far away.
The need to safeguard the delivery of humanitarian aid to Somali by sea has been discussed here frequently. Merchant vessels provide the most efficient means of moving tonnes of food aid between Somalia and Mombasa, which is the key port for storing UN assistance. The problem, of course is that this humanitarian aid has to be delivered through waters that have become the most dangerous as a result of piracy. And the last few days have shown that the threat is as prevalent as ever.
Since the beginning of the week, Somali pirates have managed to hijack four merchant ships, operated by firms from Malaysia, Iran, Japan and Germany. Prior to making port in Mombasa, HMCS Ville de Québec saw at least two of the hijacked vessels on her radar while sailing south from the Red Sea (having sailed over the Atlantic, across the Mediterranean and through the Suez Canal from her home port of Halifax). In an interview with Chris Lambie of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald made prior to heading to Somalia with the Abdul Rahman, Cmdr. Dickinson said that "