A boat with three AK-47 rifles and bullets was found off the Raigad coast in Maharashtra on Thursday, officials said adding that there was no security threat. According to officials, the crew members of this boat had been rescued in June this year near the Oman coast. It later drifted and grounded ashore, a Coast Guard official said.
Maharashtra home ministry issues statement
According to Maharashtra home ministry officials, the name of the said boat is "Ladyhan" and it is owned by a woman, Hana Lordorgan, an Australian citizen. Her husband James Hobert is the captain of the said boat and this boat was going to Europe from Muscat. dated 26/06/2022 at 10.00 am.
The state government said in a statement "The boat's engine failed and the sailors called for help. 13.00 hrs. A Korean warship rescued the sailors from the boat and handed them over to Oman. The boat "Ladyhan" could not be towed as the sea was rough. The information received from the Indian Coast Guard is that the boat is stranded on the Harihareshwar coast due to the under current of the sea."
"Both the local police and the anti-terrorist squad are investigating the incident and all the police units have been ordered to be alert in view of the upcoming festivals. The Indian Coast Guard and central agencies are in constant contact and further investigations are being carried out closely," it added.
The boat was first spotted by the locals in Shrivardhan area, located more than 190 km from Mumbai. They alerted the security agencies. The boat had no crew member. Raigad Superintendent of Police Ashok Dudhe and other senior officials rushed the spot and searched the boat.
What was found on the boat?
Three AK-47 rifles and some bullets were found on the boat and the police were conducting further investigation.
UK registerd yacht?
A Coast Guard official said there is no security threat. "It is a UK registered yacht which was sailing from Oman to Europe. It had given a distress call and people onboard were rescued by ships in the vicinity of Muscat on June 26," the official said. The yacht also carried some small arms of the AK series, he said. The arms vendor has been contacted and the serial numbers of the weapons found onboard match with the ones missing from the vendor's inventory, the official said. "Since a yacht moves slowly, it is permitted to carry small weapons. When the people onboard abandoned the boat, they did not carry the weapons with them," the official said. Later, the boat drifted and grounded ashore. The official said the yacht was badly damaged and partly submerged after being battered by the monsoon winds.
What Maharashtra Dy CM Devendra Fadnavis said
Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said, "There is no confirmation of any terror angle. The boat has just drifted here. We are not ruling out anything, investigating all aspects. Police have been asked to be on high alert." "Three AK 47 rifles were found on the boat. The boat in a half-broken condition came towards Kokan coast due to high tide. Central agencies have been informed. No possibilities of any consequences would be taken lightly: Maharashtra Dy CM Devendra Fadnavis. ATS is also working on it. The additional force will also be deployed if necessary. All the precautions needed to be taken as per the norms of abandoned caution situation have been taken: Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis," he noted.
"The boat belongs to an Australian citizen. Boat's engine broke out in the sea, people were rescued by a Korean boat. It has now reached Harihareshwar beach. Keeping in mind the coming festive season, police & administration have been instructed to be prepared," he added.