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Indian Navy warships deployed in Arabian sea, Gulf of Aden to deter piracy, drone attacks on merchant vessels

The announcement comes days after a cargo ship 'MV Lila Norfolk' was reportedly hijacked near the coast of Somalia. The Marine commandos of the Indian Navy carried out a successful rescue operation to evacuate 21 crew members.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 New Delhi Published on: January 12, 2024 12:59 IST
Indian Navy, Indian Navy warship, Arabian sea
Image Source : ANI Representative Image

Days after 21 crew members, including 15 Indians, were successfully rescued after hijacking SOS call near the coast of Somalia, several major indigenous Indian Navy warships including Destroyers, Frigates and Offshore Patrol Vessels have been deployed in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden, aiming to prevent piracy of merchant vessels, military officials said on Friday (January 12).

The step has been taken with a view to deter any incident of such kind at the sea.

What did the officials say?

“6-10 major indigenous Indian Navy warships including Destroyers, Frigates and Offshore Patrol Vessels are deployed in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden with a special focus near the coast of Somalia to prevent piracy and drone attacks on the merchant vessels. Indian warships are keeping an eye on the situation to deter any incidents at sea,” the officials said.

Earlier this month, Marine commandos of the Indian Navy, known as MARCOs, executed a successful search and rescue operation after SOS call regarding the hijacking of the cargo ship 'MV Lila Norfolk' on January 5 near the coast of Somalia. The commandos rescued 21 crew members, including 15 Indians, on the 84,000-tonne bulk carrier.

What did the Navy say?

“Indian Navy swiftly responded to the hijacking incident onboard Liberian flagged Bulk Carrier MV Lila Norfolk deploying considerable strength of assets (both ships and aircraft) and an aggressive intent to counter-attack by pirates. INS Chennai guided-missile destroyer arrived at the scene of action by 1515h. Continuous aerial recce of MV Lila Norfolk was undertaken by MQ9B (Sea Guardian), P8I and integral helicopters. Subsequently, the Indian Navy Marine Commandos boarded MV Lila Norfolk and undertook thorough sanitisation of the upper decks, machinery compartments and living spaces. The team did not find any pirates onboard. Forceful warnings by the Indian Naval aircraft to the vessel and likely interception by IN warship, probably compelled the pirates to escape during the night hours," Indian Navy said in a statement.

"All 21 crew of MV Lila Norfolk have been rescued and are safe. Indian Naval forces are investigating the suspected vessels in the area. Presently, the crew of MV is engaged in restoring propulsion, power supply and steering gear. Thereafter, MV Lila Norfolk will recommence her passage to her destination under escort of the Indian Naval Warship,” it added.

(With ANI inputs)

ALSO READ | MARCOs conduct rescue ops on hijacked ship in Arabian sea | Who are Indian Navy's elite commandos?

ALSO READ | Indians rescued by Navy from hijacked ship in Arabian Sea chant 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' | Watch

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