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March 2, 2024 1:23 pm

Indian navy warship rescues 19 Pakistani nationals, fishing vessel hijacked by Somali pirates

New Delhi, January 30

The Indian Navy warship INS Sumitra thwarted the piracy attempt on an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, Al Naeemi sailing off the East Coast of Somalia and successfully rescued 19 Pakistani nationals on Monday, the Indian Navy said in an official statement.

It is the second rescue operation within a day for the Indian Navy after saving another Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, FV Iman, from Somali pirates, which had 17 crew members onboard in its anti-piracy operations along the east coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden on Monday, an official statement said.

The Indian Navy said that its warship INS Sumitra intercepted the distressed vessel and pressed into action to locate the fishing vessel, which had been boarded by pirates and saved 19 Pakistani national crew members who were taken hostage.

The warship acted in accordance with 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 19 crew members along with the boat.

Subsequently, the ship also undertook confirmatory boarding to sanitise and check on the well-being of the crew who were held captive by the Somali pirates.

“INS Sumitra, over the course of less than 36 hours, through swift, persistent and relentless efforts has rescued two hijacked Fishing Vessels along with 36 Crew (17 Iranian and 19 Pakistani) in Southern Arabian Sea approximately 850 nm West of Kochi, and prevented misuse of these Fishing Vessels as Mother Ships for further acts of Piracy on Merchant Vessels,” Navy said in a statement.

Earlier, in a rapid and effective response, the Indian Navy’s mission-deployed guided missile destroyer, INS Visakhapatnam, on January 18 addressed a distress call from the Marshall Island-flagged MV Genco Picardy following a drone attack on the night of January 17.

INS Visakhapatnam, currently on an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden, promptly acknowledged the distress call.

The destroyer intercepted the vessels at midnight on January 18, 2024, to provide immediate assistance.

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