Indian Navy saves ship from pirates

INS Sharda comes to the rescue of merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden

Deploying its ship INS Sharda, the Navy rescued a merchant vessel, m.v. Lord Mountbatten, from a piracy attempt in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: The Hindu

“On May 16, about 16:45 hours [4.45 p.m.], the ship received a distress call from m.v. Lord Mountbatten, 230 nm [nautical miles] south-west of Salalah in the Gulf of Aden. The vessel had reported an incident of attempted piracy by two suspicious mother vessels along with 7-8 skiffs,” Navy spokesperson Capt. D.K. Sharma said on Wednesday.

INS Sharda, which was 30 nm from the merchant vessel at that time, responded immediately. The ship had been deployed for anti-piracy operations in the region since April 6.

Three of the skiffs “fled the area at high speeds on sighting the warship”. The Navy’s Marine Commandos (MARCOS) fired shots from a light machine gun on the armed helicopter from the ship, following which the pirates surrendered. The commandos then investigated the dhows and their skiffs by conducting board-and-search operations, Capt. Sharma said.

The absence of any fishing gear on board the dhows indicated piracy-linked intentions, Navy officials said.

Gun seized

One high-calibre ALM rifle, along with one filled magazine, found hidden on board one of the dhows was confiscated. As per practice, the dhows were disarmed and let go.

In April, the Navies of India and China jointly foiled a hijack attempt on a bulk cargo carrier in the Gulf of Aden.

Source: The Hindu 

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