HomeIndian DefenceIndian Navy rescues hijacked Iranian fishing vessel, 23 Pakistani crew members

Indian Navy rescues hijacked Iranian fishing vessel, 23 Pakistani crew members

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The Indian Navy on Friday rescued a hijacked Iranian fishing vessel and its crew of 23 Pakistani nationals, after more than 12 hours of “intense coercive tactical measures” as part of an anti-piracy operation at sea, officials said. Indian naval specialist teams are presently undertaking thorough sanitisation and seaworthiness checks of the fishing vessel in order to escort her to a safe area for resuming normal fishing activities, according to an official statement shared by the Navy’s spokesperson.

The Indian Navy late evening on Friday had said that it was engaged in an operation to rescue the hijacked fishing vessel, which had reportedly been boarded by nine armed pirates, and its crew at sea.

The hijacked vessel was intercepted on Thursday, the Navy said.

“INS Sumedha intercepted FV ‘Al Kambar’ during early hours of Friday and was joined subsequently by the guided missile frigate INS Trishul,” it said.

“After more than 12 hours of intense coercive tactical measures as per the SOPs, the pirates on board the hijacked fishing vessel were forced to surrender. The crew, comprising 23 Pakistani nationals, have been safely rescued,” the Indian Navy added.

The fishing vessel at the time of incident was approximately 90 nm southwest of Socotra and was “reported to have been boarded by nine armed pirates,” it said. The Indian Navy said it remains committed to ensuring maritime security in the region and safety of seafarers, “irrespective of the nationalities”. Socotra Archipelago is in the northwest Indian Ocean near the Gulf of Aden.

The Indian Navy will take “affirmative action” to ensure a safer and more secure Indian Ocean Region, its chief Admiral R Hari Kumar had said on March 23 while citing the anti-piracy and other maritime security operations undertaken by the naval force in the preceding 100 days under ‘Op Sankalp’.

As part of maritime security operations, the Navy has undertaken anti-piracy, anti-missiles and anti-drones operations; 110 lives — 45 Indians and 65 foreign nationals — have been saved during ‘Op Sankalp’ in that 100-day period, according to a PPT presentation that was given by a Navy officer before the press conference of the Navy chief in March 23.

It was also mentioned in the presentation that from November last year till March, “more than 90 maritime incidents have happened”, including 57 drone or missile attacks or sightings; and 39 incidents that include piracy, hijacking, or suspicious approaches.

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