An Indian warship on Monday foiled a hijack attempt on an oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, the world’s most dangerous waters for commercial shipping.
Within minutes of receiving an SOS message from oil tanker Nordic Spirit, owned by the Nordic American Tanker Shipping Limited, the Navy’s guided missile frigate INS Godavari launched an armed helicopter with marine commandos onboard to prevent the pirates from boarding and hijacking the tanker.
The tanker transmitted a distress signal after she came under fire from the pirates who were on speedboats. The pirates fled on seeing the Indian helicopter. There was no exchange of fire. The incident took place around 2 pm (IST).
The navy kicked off anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden last October following a dramatic surge in hijack incidents to protect Indian sea-borne trade and to instill confidence in the seafaring community.
With one warship continuously deployed there, the navy has escorted more than 700 merchant vessels and thwarted 14 piracy attempts.