French ‘killed pirate hostage’ on the Yacht Tanit

Posted: May 4, 2009 in boating, boats, sailboats, yacht, yachts
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The French cruiser taken hostage by Somali pirates was shot and killed by French special forces during the rescue operation last month and not by his captors, according to radio Europe 1. The French troops stormed the Tanit yacht on April 10 and captured three Somali pirates in a bid to free Florent Lemacon, his wife, their three-year-old son and two friends. 28 year old Lemacon was hit by a bullet during the assault but it had remained unclear whether he was shot accidentally by French forces or executed by his captors. Two other pirates were killed during the operation.

Sailboat taken by pirates

Sailboat taken by pirates

Europe 1 said Lemacon was shot while trying to shield his son and wife. “This was a reflex gesture that triggered another reflex, to open fire, and he collapsed in his wife’s arms,” said the radio report, which did not identify its sources. They also say that the bullet that killed Lemacon has not been found, but it pierced his hand before hitting him in the face.

French special forces decided to launch the rescue after eavesdropping on the Somalia pirates showed they were “becoming nervous and talked about making an example out of the hostages” with drastic action The report said the special forces stormed the Tanit’s cabin where two pirates were holding the five hostages since April 6.

French prosecutors said last month that they were unable to conclude who fired the shot following an investigation. Defence Minister Herve Morin said after Lemacon’s death he did not rule out that he may have been the victim of a French bullet and pledged to “tell the truth” about what happened after the investigation had run its course, which apparently he did.

Read more: Tanit Yacht Captured by Pirates and  Tanit Yacht Freed from Pirates

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