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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Indian Navy Rescues Pakistani & Iranian Sailors from Pirates: Second Operation in 36 Hours

Indian naval forces, showcasing their swift response capabilities, have successfully rescued 19 Pakistani sailors from a fishing vessel hijacked by pirates off Somalia’s coast. This remarkable operation follows closely on the heels of another rescue mission where the Indian warship INS Sumitra saved a 17-member Iranian crew from a similarly perilous situation.

INS Sumitra’s Heroic Efforts

INS Sumitra, deployed for maritime security operations along the east coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden, intercepted distress calls from vessels in distress. The naval forces swiftly moved into action, demonstrating their commitment to ensuring the safety of sailors navigating these challenging waters.

Concerns Over Resurgence of Piracy

Recent attacks on vessels off Somalia’s coast have raised concerns about the potential resurgence of piracy in the region. The Indian Navy’s proactive stance in responding to distress calls highlights the ongoing threats faced by maritime activities and the need for robust security measures.

Dual Rescue Operations Showcase Naval Prowess

First Operation: Iranian Crew Rescued

In the initial operation, INS Sumitra rescued the 17-member Iranian crew of a hijacked vessel. The naval officers successfully coerced the pirates for the safe release of the crew and the vessel. Following the rescue, the ship underwent necessary sanitization procedures before continuing its journey. The status of the pirates remains undisclosed.

Second Operation: Pakistani Sailors Rescued

Within a remarkably short timeframe, INS Sumitra was pressed into action once again, this time to locate and intercept an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, Al Naeemi. The navy personnel boarded the vessel, ensuring the safety and well-being of the crew. A photo posted on X displayed armed Navy personnel guarding individuals with their hands tied behind their backs, emphasizing the successful intervention against piracy.

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Regional Context and Piracy Surge

Maritime Security Disrupted

Recent reports suggest a surge in piracy off Somalia’s coast, with potential links to maritime security disruptions caused by attacks on ships in the Red Sea by the Houthis, an Iran-backed rebel group. The Indian Navy’s strategic deployment in response to distress calls reflects the broader challenges faced in maintaining maritime security in the region.

Global Cooperation in Response to Distress Calls

On January 26, the Indian Navy deployed INS Visakhapatnam in the Gulf of Aden following a distress call from the Marlin Luanda, a tanker linked to the UK. The vessel was on fire for several hours after being hit by a missile fired by the Houthis. French and US naval ships also provided assistance, highlighting the importance of global cooperation in addressing maritime threats.

Previous Success in January

Earlier in January, Indian navy commandos executed a successful rescue operation, saving 21 crew members from a Liberian-flagged ship attacked by pirates off the Somalian coast. These continuous efforts underscore the Indian Navy’s commitment to safeguarding maritime activities and ensuring the security of seafarers.

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