US Government not involved with confiscated drone – Embassy
The US Government, via its Embassy in Namibia, recently responded to reports about the confiscation of a sail drone found in Namibian territorial waters near Lüderitz, maintaining that the US Government is not involved with or has interfered with the confiscated drone.
This was stated by Embassy spokesperson Tiffany Miller, who said that any reports, articles, or social media postings that say otherwise are incorrect and based on groundless accusations.
“We call on all actors to stop the spread of misinformation and to seek the facts before sharing incorrect information,” Miller said on Friday.
The Embassy’s public affairs officer further clarified that although the drone is made and operated by Saildrone, a private US company, a Swedish institution, the University of Gothenburg, contracted the drone for marine research purposes.
She said this in response to the allegations about the confiscation, asserting that as the research is being conducted by a third-party private institution, the US Embassy has no details on the research it was conducting.
However, according to a recent daily newspaper report, the Namibia Defence Force on Thursday confirmed they confiscated a sophisticated sailing drone, believed to have been active at the coast in the vicinity of Lüderitz for half a year.
Meanwhile, the University of Gothenburg’s website shows that it has an extensive marine research programme and has collaborated with other international research partners as early as 2019 to conduct research in the Southern Ocean, often using cost-effective sail drones for data collection, the US Embassy stated.
Miller also said an open search on Saildrone’s website shows that sail drones are used to gather ocean data. “The website further provides details on the company’s many global partners.”
The US Embassy refers all further enquiries to the Embassy of Sweden, the University of Gothenburg, and Saildrone.