NEW DELHI: Indian navy carried out an operation in the Gulf of Aden to prevent a piracy attempt on a Liberian vessel in which navy used its elite marine commandoes and helicopters on Tuesday night.
According to navy officials, INS Sharda deployed for anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden since 6 April, received a distress call on Tuesday night from a Liberian vessel MV Lord Mountbatten, in position 230 nm South-West of Salalah (in the Gulf of Aden).
Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma said that "The ship received a distress call from MV Lord Mountbatten, in position 230 nm South-West in the Gulf of Aden.”
“The vessel had reported an incident of attempted piracy by two suspicious mother vessels alongwith 7-8 skiffs. Sharda, which was at that time 30 Nm East of the reported position, immediately responded to the distress call and proceeded at best speed to investigate the incident. On arriving in the area, Sharda detected two dhows alongwith eight skiffs in vicinity, three of which fled the area at high speeds on sighting the warship.
Indian Navy’s MARCOS, with support of the armed helicopter from the ship investigated the dhows and their skiffs by conducting board and search operations. The absence of any fishing gear onboard the two dhows/ remaining five skiffs indicated malicious intent and possible piracy-linked intentions. One high calibre AKM rifle alongwith one filled magazine (28 rounds) was found hidden onboard one of the dhows. The weapon and ammunition has been confiscated by navy.
Three skiffs fled the area at high speeds on sighting the Indian warship.
Indian navy has been operating in the area under its anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia with deployment of its frontline warships alongwith other countries.