This was the second anti-piracy operation carried out by the warship within 36 hours, the Indian Navy said.
Indian warship INS Sumitra rescued 19 Pakistani sailors after pirates hijacked their fishing vessel off the east coast of Somalia on Monday. This was the second anti-piracy operation carried out by the warship within 36 hours, the Indian Navy said.
Eleven armed pirates climbed onto the Iranian-flagged fishing vessel FV Al Naeemi and took 19 crew members – all Pakistanis – hostage. The Navy warship intercepted the fishing vessel and coerced the pirates to release the hostages.
“Responding swiftly to the developing situation Sumitra intercepted the FV (fishing vessel) on PM 29 Jan 24 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 said in a statement
The Navy personnel boarded the vessel to check on the crew.
The rescue comes a day after INS Sumitra responded to an SOS call by another Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, FV Iman, which was hijacked by Somali pirates. The vessel’s 17 Iranian crew members were rescued by the Navy.
“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,” the official statement said.
INS Sumitra is Indian Navy’s indigenous offshore patrol vessel that has been deployed for anti-piracy and maritime security operations in east of Somalia and Gulf of Aden.
Earlier, Indian Navy’s guided missile destroyer INS Visakhapatnam, which is currently on an anti-piracy mission, had helped extinguish a massive blaze onboard a merchant vessel after it was struck by a missile in the Gulf of Aden on Saturday night.