Indian Navy warship foils hijack attempt off Aden (Lead)

November 11th, 2008 - 5:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 11 (IANS) In a daring rescue mission, an Indian Navy warship patrolling the Gulf of Aden successfully foiled an attempt by pirates to hijack an Indian merchant vessel Tuesday morning.According to the Indian Navy, at around 10.30 a.m. Tuesday, the Indian vessel M.V. Jag Arnav sent an SOS message about a hijacking attempt on it, around 60 nautical miles to east of Aden.

An unidentified Indian Navy warship, patrolling the area, picked up the alarm message and decided to send a rescue mission.

An armed helicopter with marine commandos took off from the naval ship for the mission.

Reaching there shortly, the helicopter attacked the pirates by firing on them and forced them to flee.

The ship was soon joined by the Indian Navy warship, which then escorted M.V. Jag Arnav to safety.

The rescued ship is a 38,000 tonne-bulk carrier, owned by The Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd. It had transited the Suez Canal a few days ago and was bound eastward in the Gulf of Aden when pirates attacked the vessel.

Timely intervention by the Indian Navy warship prevented yet another hijacking incident in the pirate-infested seas off the northern African coast, the navy said.

Incidentally, the Indian Navy has been engaged in anti-piracy patrolling in the Gulf of Aden since the past three weeks to keep an eye over vessels passing the region.

A sizeable portion of India’s imports flow through the Gulf of Aden and there has been a quantum increase in the number of piracy attacks there in the past few months.

The patrolling is carried out in coordination with the Ministry of Shipping and intended to protect Indian merchant vessels from piracy attacks as well as instill confidence in India’s large seafaring community.

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