The Royal Netherlands Navy submarine Hr. Ms. Dolfijn returned to the port of Den Helder on 1 June after a three-month deployment as part of NATO's Operation Ocean Shield counter-piracy mission off the Somali coast.
Dutch Ministry of Defense photo
The Dutch Ministry of Defense credits the Dolfijn with helping foil attempts by Somali pirates to hijack merchant ships and for freeing 12 hostages on 11 April. The submerged Dolfijn discovered a dhow, a traditional fishing boat, anchored at a pirate base and observed it for long enough to confirm suspicions that it was being used by pirates for hostage taking, leading NATO to intervene with the Danish navy ship Absalon.
Dutch Defense Minister Hans Hillen awarded the Dolfijn a commemorative medal for peacekeeping operations while the homeward-bound submarine was on a port call to Portsmouth on 29 May.