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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 April 2024

Indian Navy probes vessels to track down pirates involved in hijacking attempt

The crew of the bulk carrier are now engaged in restoring the propulsion system, power supply and steering gear of the platform, the navy said

PTI New Delhi Published 07.01.24, 09:37 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image

Indian naval forces were on Saturday investigating suspected vessels in the North Arabian Sea to track down the pirates involved in an attempt to hijack a merchant vessel with 21 crew members including 15 Indians, officials said.

The Indian Navy on Friday thwarted the attempted hijacking of Liberian-flagged vessel MV Lila Norfolk and rescued all its crew members.

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The crew of the bulk carrier are now engaged in restoring the propulsion system, power supply and steering gear of the platform, the navy said. “Thereafter, MV Lila Norfolk will recommence her passage to her destination under escort of the Indian naval warship,” it said.

The navy deployed a warship, maritime patrol aircraft P-8I, helicopters and MQ9B Predator drones to assist the MV Lila Norfolk after it sent a message on the UK Maritime Trade Operations portal saying unknown armed personnel had boarded it on Thursday evening.

On Friday, the Indian Navy’s elite marine commandos rescued all 21 crew members of the commercial vessel after boarding it from frontline warship INS Chennai.

The navy issued a statement detailing its response to the hijacking attempt. In a video shared by the navy, three Indian crew members of the bulk carrier thanked the force for rescuing them. “I am proud of the Indian Navy,” said one of them.

The navy said it swiftly responded to the hijacking incident by deploying considerable strength of assets. “INS Chennai guided missile destroyer arrived at the scene of action by 1515 hours. Continuous aerial recce of MV Lila Norfolk was undertaken by MQ9B (Sea Guardian drone), P8I (maritime patrol aircraft)and integral helicopters,” it said.

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