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Updated January 30th, 2024 at 10:28 IST

Indian Navy's INS Sumitra Rescues Iranian Fishing Vessel Hijacked By Somali Pirates In Arabian Sea

With the operation completed successfully, INS Sumitra has now exited the area, leaving behind a secure and liberated FV Iman.

Digital Desk
INS Sumitra
INS Sumitra | Image:Social media
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Kochi: In a daring operation, the Indian Navy warship INS Sumitra successfully rescued the Iranian fishing vessel FV Iman from the clutches of Somali pirates, approximately 700 nautical miles west of Kochi in the Arabian Sea. The fishing vessel, carrying around 17 crew members, had fallen prey to the pirates.

INS Sumitra intercepted the vessel, acted in accordance with the established SOPs to coerce the pirates for safe release of crew along with the boat and ensured successful release of all 17 crew members along with the boat. The FV was subsequently sanitised and released for onward transit. The Defence officials reported that INS Sumitra swiftly disarmed the pirates and instructed them to move away towards Somalia. The official statement added that the naval vessel's ALH Dhruv choppers, deployed for the mission, played a crucial role by encircling the hijacked vessel and issuing warnings to the pirates on board.

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Furthermore, being mission-deployed, Indian Naval ships on anti-piracy and maritime security operations in the Indian Ocean Region symbolize the Indian Navy’s resolve towards the safety of all vessels and seafarers at sea.

With the operation completed successfully, INS Sumitra has now exited the area, leaving behind a secure and liberated FV Iman. 

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Navy Intensifies Vigilance in Gulf of Aden 

The Navy has heightened its surveillance efforts following a series of attacks on merchant vessels in the Red Sea and parts of the Arabian Sea. The most recent incident occurred in the Gulf of Aden, where the Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi militia targeted the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker MV Marlin Luanda, resulting in a distress call. The vessel, carrying 22 Indian crew members and one Bangladeshi, caught fire after the missile attack.

This alarming development illustrates the deteriorating security situation in one of the world's busiest shipping routes. The Houthi rebels have been actively using missiles and drones to target commercial shipping, particularly since the onset of the Israel-Hamas conflict on October 7. Expressing support for Hamas, the rebels have made several shipping companies suspend operations in the Red Sea, compelling mariners to take longer routes around the southern tip of Africa, as per a previous report.

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Responding to the distress call, India's guided missile destroyer INS Visakhapatnam intervened, ensuring the safety of the merchant vessel. Another Marshall Islands-flagged merchant vessel, previously attacked by a drone in the Gulf of Aden, safely docked at the Tuticorin port in Tamil Nadu after thorough examination by the Indian Navy's explosive ordnance disposal specialists

 

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Published January 29th, 2024 at 14:57 IST

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