By Tiffany Miller, U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer and Spokesperson
In response to reports about the confiscation of a saildrone found in Namibian territorial waters near Lüderitz, the U.S. Embassy in Namibia strongly refutes any claims that the U.S. government is involved with or has interfered with the confiscated drone.
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.
Although the drone is made and operated by Saildrone, a private U.S. company, the Swedish institution University of Gothenburg contracted the drone for marine research purposes. As the research is being conducted by a third-party private institution, the U.S. Embassy has no details on the marine scientific research it was conducting.
An open search on the University of Gothenburg’s website shows that it has a robust marine research program and has collaborated with other international research partners as early as 2019 to conduct marine scientific research in the Southern Ocean, often using cost-effective saildrones for ocean data collection. An open search on Saildrone’s website shows that saildrones are used to gather ocean data. The website further provides details on the company’s many global partners.
The U.S. Embassy refers further inquiries to the Embassy of Sweden, the University of Gothenburg, and Saildrone.