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How the Navy comes to the rescue of distressed ships in Arabian Sea

A maritime disaster has unfolded within the Arabian Sea, prompting the Indian Navy to take fast motion. Shortly after the Navy obtained info {that a} Liberia-flagged bulk service was hijacked close to Somalia’s coast within the Arabian Sea, the maritime drive has pressed into motion, launching an operation to safe the vessel.

Earlier too, the Indian Navy had secured a vessel after it was hijacked within the Arabian Sea.

In actual fact, in gentle of the rising incidents of assaults on service provider vessels transitioning by way of the Arabian Sea, the Indian Navy had already enhanced maritime surveillance efforts.

We check out how the Navy has change into a type of a saviour on the excessive seas within the latest previous.

Navy responds to MV Lila Norfolk hijacking

On Friday morning, the Indian Navy mentioned that it was diverting and deploying INS Chennai in the direction of MV Lila Norfolk, a Liberian-flagged bulk service with about 15 Indian crew members, after it had obtained details about its hijacking.

Reviews say that the vessel had despatched a message on the UK Maritime Commerce Operations portal saying 5 to 6 unknown armed personnel had boarded on Thursday night close to Somalia’s coast.

On receiving the information early this morning (5 January), the Indian Navy’s plane managed to overfly the hijacked ship and set up contact, efficiently verifying the crew’s security. Concurrently, the Navy additionally diverted INS Chennai to help within the operation. “Naval aircraft continues to monitor movement and INS Chennai is closing the vessel to render assistance,” it mentioned.

Based on a report in The Print, the crew members are inside the protection compartment, which has not but been breached.

As of now, no group has claimed accountability for the assault. There have been rising issues about transport within the area following assaults by Yemeni Houthi rebels.

Navy provides help after hijacking of MV Ruen

Earlier in mid-December too, the Indian Navy had rushed to help a hijacked ship within the Arabian Sea.

On December 14 2023, the Malta-flagged vessel MV Ruen, with 18 on board, had been hijacked, with the ship’s crew indicating in its SOS name that six unknown pirates had illegally boarded the Malta-flagged vessel, managed by Bulgaria’s Navigation Maritime Bulgare.

MV Lila Norfolk hijacking How the Navy comes to the rescue of distressed ships in Arabian Sea
MV Ruen, a vessel with 18 crew onboard, that had despatched a Mayday message indicating boarding by roughly six unknown personnel. Indian Navy diverted its Naval Maritime Patrol plane enterprise surveillance within the space and its warship on Anti Piracy patrol within the Gulf Aden to find and help MV Ruen. File picture/PTI

On receiving the decision, the Indian Navy diverted its Naval Maritime Patrol plane enterprise surveillance within the space and its warship on anti-piracy patrol within the Gulf Aden to find and help MV Ruen. And on 18 December, one of many sailors – who had sustained a bullet damage to his shoulder throughout the piracy incident was moved by the Navy to INS Kochi for medical help.

The Indian Navy had negotiated with the pirates and secured the discharge of the injured crew, who was given first-aid therapy on INS Kochi. Since he wanted pressing medical consideration, which was past the scope of the Indian warship, he was transferred to a port in Oman for specialist therapy.

Based on the New Indian Specific, MV Ruen continues to stay docked off the Somalia coast.

Not simply hijackings

Aside from the latest hijackings, the Indian Navy has additionally offered help in circumstances of drone assaults.

On 23 December, MV Chem Pluto – a chemical/ oil tanker with a crew of 21 Indians and a Vietnamese – was hit by a drone within the Arabian Sea whereas en path to New Mangalore port. The Navy had then dispatched a P8I maritime patrol plane and a warship, and the Coast Guard despatched an offshore patrol vessel and a Dornier maritime surveillance plane to help the Liberian-flagged business ship.

MV Lila Norfolk hijacking How the Navy comes to the rescue of distressed ships in Arabian Sea
Harm induced to MV Chem Pluto within the drone assault. File picture/ANI

The Indian Navy after learning the world of assault and particles discovered on the ship pointed to a drone assault, which was additionally corroborated by the US Pentagon. A Pentagon spokesperson had claimed that the MV Chem Pluto was hit “a one-way attack drone fired from Iran”.

And a day after the MV Chem Pluto incident, a Gabon-flagged business oil tanker, MV Sai Baba, on its option to India with 25 crew members, all of them Indians, additionally got here underneath drone assault within the southern Purple Sea.

In gentle of each these incidents, the Indian Navy then deployed P-8I long-range patrol plane for surveillance. Additionally, warships INS Mormugao, INS Kochi, and INS Kolkata have been stationed within the area to keep up a “deterrent presence”.

Securing the excessive seas

The Indian Navy has reiterated its dedication to securing the excessive seas. In a press release earlier, it mentioned, “It remains committed to ensuring [the] safety of merchant shipping in the region along with international partners and friendly foreign countries”.

The drive has additionally considerably enhanced maritime surveillance efforts in Central and North Arabian Sea. In late December, the Navy mentioned, “Task Groups comprising destroyers and frigates have been deployed to undertake maritime security operations and render assistance to merchant vessels in case of any incident. Aerial surveillance by long-range maritime patrol aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) has been enhanced to have a complete maritime domain awareness.”

Also read: Vantage | How escalating Red Sea crisis threatens vital Indian trade routes

In latest instances, the seas have change into harmful owing to a spate of assaults by Houthi rebels, who’re against Israel’s navy marketing campaign in Gaza. For India, these assaults within the Arabian Sea and Rea Sea are significantly worrying, as India closely depends on gas shipments from the West Asia area, significantly from Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Any disruption on this route could be problematic for India.

It’s unsure if the assaults will stop anytime quickly, however one factor is definite: The Indian Navy is on guard, prepared to guard the waters.

With inputs from companies

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