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Indian Navy collaborates with Sri Lanka and Seychelles to rescue hijacked Sri Lankan fishing vessel

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In a strategic and coordinated operation, the Indian Navy, in conjunction with naval forces from Sri Lanka and Seychelles, successfully rescued a hijacked fishing vessel in the sea lanes east of Mogadishu. The Sri Lankan-flagged fishing trawler, Lorenzo Putha, fell victim to three pirates on January 27, prompting a swift response from the Indian Navy.
Multilateral Response and Efficient Coordination

The Indian Navy deployed INS Sharada and utilized Sea Guardian long-range drones to locate the hijacked fishing vessel. Commander Vivek Madhwal, spokesperson for the Indian Navy, stated, “In a coordinated multilateral response to the hijacking of a Sri Lankan fishing vessel, the Indian Navy in collaboration with Seychelles defense forces and Sri Lankan Navy successfully intercepted and rescued the hijacked vessel.”

Efficient operational coordination and information sharing through the Sri Lanka and Seychelles International Liaison Officers at IFC-IOR, New Delhi, played a crucial role in the successful interception on Monday, Madhwal added.

Surrender of Pirates and Safe Crew Rescue

The three pirates surrendered to the Seychelles Coast Guard, and all six crew members are reported to be safe. The hijacked vessel is currently being escorted to Mahe in Seychelles. Madhwal highlighted the proactive measures taken by the Indian Navy: “The Indian Navy deployed INS Sharada and also tasked the Sea Guardian long-range drones to locate and intercept the hijacked fishing vessel.”

Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR)

Established in 2018, the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) serves as a collaborative framework with like-minded countries to monitor shipping traffic and critical developments in the region.

INS Sumitra’s Success in Anti-Piracy Operations

In another significant development, INS Sumitra, deployed for anti-piracy and maritime security operations in the east of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden, rescued two hijacked fishing vessels along with 36 crew members in the Southern Arabian Sea within a span of 36 hours.

On Monday, INS Sumitra successfully rescued 19 Pakistani nationals after foiling a plot to steal the Iranian-flagged fishing vessel Al Naeemi off the East Coast of Somalia. The warship intercepted the distressed vessel and coerced the pirates for the safe release of the crew and the boat.

Swift and Relentless Efforts

“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,” stated the Navy in an official statement.

Earlier Rescue Mission by INS Visakhapatnam

Prior to this, the Indian Navy’s guided missile destroyer, INS Visakhapatnam, responded effectively to a distress call from the Marshall Island-flagged MV Genco Picardy on January 18. The vessel had experienced a drone attack on the night of January 17, prompting INS Visakhapatnam, currently on an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden, to intercept and provide immediate assistance.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI)

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