Navy warship foils piracy bid in Gulf of Aden after vessel sends distress signal
The Indian Navy’s patrol vessel, INS Sharda reacted swiftly after MV Lord Mountbatten reported an incident of attempted piracy in the Gulf of Aden.india Updated: May 17, 2017 18:02 IST
The Indian Navy on Tuesday foiled a piracy bid in the Gulf of Aden after it received a distress call from a Liberia-registered merchant vessel.
The navy’s patrol vessel, INS Sharda, deployed in the Gulf of Aden since April 6, reacted swiftly after MV Lord Mountbatten reported an incident of attempted piracy, 230 nautical miles south-west of Oman’s Salalah port. The merchant vessel faced threat from two suspicious mother vessels and eight skiffs, a navy spokesperson said.
The warship immediately charted course towards Mountbatten that was around 30 nautical miles away. “On arriving in the area at around 1900 hrs, Sharda detected two dhows along with eight skiffs in vicinity, three of which fled on sighting the warship,” the spokesperson said. Supported by an armed helicopter, the navy’s marine commandos boarded and investigated the suspicious boats.
The absence of fishing gear on the boats indicated malicious intent and possible piracy-linked intentions, the official said. The commandos recovered an automatic rifle with 28 rounds during the search operation.
The latest incident comes a month after warships from India, China and Pakistan operated jointly in the Gulf of Aden to rescue a merchant vessel attacked by Somali pirates. The Tuvalu-flagged bulk carrier (OS 35) was travelling from Kelang in Malaysia to the Yemeni port city of Aden when it was hijacked by the pirates.
There was a lull in the Gulf of Aden for some time but now the pirates seem to be active again.