An anti-piracy patrol ship, owned by a US-based private company, was detained by the Coast Guard off Thoothukudi on Saturday, following suspicion about its presence in the area. Intelligence sources said Seaman Guard Ohio was owned by AdvanFort, headquartered in Washington DC, with offices in London, Dubai and Manila.
After visiting the Kochi port, the ship was apparently stranded for about two days on the International Maritime Boundary Line in the Indian Ocean. As it was hovering suspiciously, the Coast Guard, Thoothukudi unit personnel went in a ship and brought it to the Thoothukudi Port. Later, the Coast Guard, Navy, coastal police, local police, Q branch and customs officials visited the ship and conducted an enquiry.
Subsequently, it was found that it was an anti-piracy patrol ship with arms aboard. Of the 35 personnel on board, 25 were trained to take on pirates and the other 10 were crew members. Some Indians were also part of the crew.
As fuel and food on the ship were used up, the vessel was waiting for replenishment after informing the firm. When contacted, Thoothukudi Coast Guard commandant Anand Kumar said a probe was on.