New Delhi: The Indian Navy, on Tuesday, said it carried out another successful anti-piracy operation by rescuing Pakistani crew members from a fishing vessel hijacked by Somali pirates off the East coast of Somalia.
“Having thwarted the piracy attempt on FV (fishing vessel) Iman, the warship has carried out another successful anti-piracy op off the East Coast of Somalia, rescuing Fishing Vessel Al Naeemi and her Crew (19 Pakistani Nationals) from 11 Somali Pirates,” the navy spokesperson said in an official statement.
Giving details of the rescue operation, the Navy said, “Responding swiftly to the developing situation Sumitra intercepted the FV on the evening of January 29 and through coercive posturing and effective deployment of her integral helo and boats compelled the safe release of the crew and the vessel.”
The Navy’s statement followed a day after they said that INS Sumitra had successfully rescued a hijacked Iranian-flagged vessel, MV Iman, from Somali pirates after receiving a distress call. Pirates had boarded the FV and its crew had been taken hostage.
“INS Sumitra intercepted the vessel, acted by the established SOPs to coerce the pirates for the safe release of the crew along with the boat, and ensured the successful release of all 17 crew members along with the boat. The FV was subsequently sanitized and released for onward transit,” the navy spokesperson had informed on Monday.
This successful rescue operation involved the prompt efforts of the deployed Indian Navy warship in the Southern Arabian Sea, approximately 850 nautical miles west of Kochi.
Highlighting the importance of the mission, the Navy said that such rescues also thwart the potential misuse of fishing vessels as “Mother Ships” for subsequent acts of piracy on merchant vessels.
The attacks come amid a spate of strikes on merchant vessels in the Red Sea by Yemen-based Houthi rebels, a broader effect of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. The Houthis have extended their support to the Palestnians in the war and been at loggerheads with the United States and the United Kingdom over the disruption of international maritime trade.