Warship INS Sharda came to the rescue of the vessel FV Omaril after it came under attack from pirates
The Indian Navy thwarted yet another piracy attempt on an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel off the East coast of Somalia and rescued Iranian and Pakistani nationals from captivity on Friday. The Indian Navy’s Rapid Patrol Aircraft (RPA) detected suspicious activity on the FV Omari on 31 January and deployed INS Sharada, which was already engaged in anti-piracy operations in the region.
“FV Omaril, an Iranian-fagged vessel, had been boarded by seven pirates who had taken the crew as hostages,” an Indian Navy statement said. Employing its helicopter and boats, INS Sharada coerced the pirates into releasing the hostages unharmed. The successful operation resulted in the safe release of all crew members, comprising 11 Iranian and 8 Pakistani nationals, along with the Fishing Vessel Omari. Following the rescue, INS Sharada conducted a thorough inspection of the vessel to ensure the well-being of the previously held captives.
Following a series of anti-piracy operations, the Indian Navy executed three significant rescue operations within a span of 36 hours. During these operations, they successfully saved crew members and retrieved three hijacked fishing vessels involving Iranians and Pakistani nationals. One of the incidents involved the hijacking of the Merchant Vessel – Lila Norfolk on January 04-05, with a total of 21 crew members, including 15 Indian nationals. Two other hijacking incidents took place with the fishing vessel – IMAN on January 28 and the fishing vessel – AI Naeemi on January 29. Notably, these two incidents did not involve any Indian crew members.
Indian Navy has deployed massive war assets, including over a dozen warships, and aerial surveillance by maritime patrol aircraft/remotely piloted aircraft off Djibouti, Gulf of Aden, in the North/Central Arabian Sea and off the East Coast of Somalia, to protect merchant vessels and render assistance, if required. In addition, information exchange/intelligence sharing is also being undertaken with friendly foreign countries to identify the source/reason/players involved in the attacks/incidents. Since 2008, Indian Navy has deployed units in the Gulf of Aden and the East coast of Africa towards antipiracy patrols. A total of 3,440 ships and over 25,000 seafarers have been safely escorted.