The Indian Navy inspected the merchant vessel MV Chem Pluto after it was hit by a drone off India’s west coast. The Navy deployed surveillance aircraft and warships in the region to maintain a deterrent presence.
Mumbai: Days after the ship was hit by a drone off India’s west coast in the Arabian Sea when it was on its way to New Mangalore port, the Indian Nady’s explosive ordnance disposal team on Monday carried out a detailed inspection of merchant vessel MV Chem Pluto on its arrival at Mumbai harbor.
Officials said the Navy deployed P-8I long-range patrol aircraft for surveillance, and warships INS Mormugao, INS Kochi, and INS Kolkata in the region to maintain a “deterrent presence. This came given the spate of attacks on commercial vessels in the Arabian Sea.
Saturday’s drone attack on Liberian-flagged MV Chem Pluto came amid increasing concerns over various commercial vessels being targeted reportedly by Iran-backed Houthi militants in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The Liberian-flagged vessel with 21 Indians and one Vietnamese crew, anchored at outer anchorage off Mumbai at 3:30 pm, PTI reported.
A Navy spokesperson said, “On her arrival, the Indian Navy explosive ordnance disposal team inspected the vessel to make a preliminary assessment of the type and nature of the attack. The analysis of the area of attack and debris found on the ship points towards a drone attack.”
“However, further forensic and technical analysis will be required to establish the vector of attack including type and amount of explosive used,” he added.
The Indian Navy spokesperson also stated that a joint investigation by various agencies commenced following the completion of the analysis of the vessel by the explosive ordnance team, as per PTI reports.