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Indian Navy Foils Yet Another Piracy Attempt; Rescues Pak, Iranian Crew

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New Delhi: In a swift response, the Indian Navy thwarted a piracy attempt off the east coast of Somalia, rescuing Pakistani and Iranian crew members aboard the fishing vessel FV Omari. The naval drone, actively monitoring the area, detected the threat on January 31, prompting INS Sharda to be redirected for a successful interception, securing the safety of those on board.

Seven pirates had boarded FV Omaril, an Iranian-flagged vessel, and held the crew as hostages. INS Sharada intercepted the vessel in the early hours of Friday and used her integral helicopter and boats to coerce the pirates for the safe release of crew along with the vessel.

The ship has ensured the successful release of the crew, comprising 11 Iranian and eight Pakistani nationals, along with the boat, a statement added.

The ship also undertook confirmatory boarding on FV Omari to sanitise and check on the well-being of the crew who had been held captive by the Somali pirates.

“Relentless efforts by Indian Naval platforms, mission deployed for anti-piracy and maritime security operations, continue to save precious life at sea, symbolising Indian Navy’s resolve towards safety of all vessels and seafarers at sea,” the Indian Navy said.

This incident comes on the heels of similar operations, where the Indian Navy carried out two major rescue operations within 36 hours and rescued two hijacked fishing vessels and crew members, including 17 Iranian and 19 Pakistani nationals.

On Monday, the Indian Navy warship INS Sumitra thwarted the piracy attempt on an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, Al Naeemi, sailing off the East Coast of Somalia and successfully rescued 19 Pakistani nationals.

This operation came shortly after the INS Sumitra saved another Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, FV Iman, from Somali pirates, which had 17 crew members onboard in its anti-piracy operations along the east coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden.

“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 the Southern Arabian Sea approximately 850 nm West of Kochi, and prevented misuse of these Fishing Vessels as Mother Ships for further acts of Piracy on Merchant Vessels,” the Indian Navy said in a statement.

Earlier, in a rapid and effective response, the Indian Navy’s mission-deployed guided missile destroyer, INS Visakhapatnam, on January 18 addressed a distress call from the Marshall Island-flagged MV Genco Picardy following a drone attack on the night of January 17.

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