In a remarkable display of naval strength, Indian Naval Ship (INS) Sumitra conducted its second anti-piracy operation within 36 hours, rescuing 19 Pakistani nationals from 11 Somali pirates aboard the hijacked fishing vessel Al Naeemi off the coast of Somalia.
The same naval vessel, INS Sumitra, had executed a daring rescue mission just two days prior, saving 17 crew members from Somali pirates who targeted the Iranian-flagged fishing vessel FV Iman.
INS Sumitra, a key asset in anti-piracy and maritime security operations, demonstrated its versatility during the recent missions. The vessel, a Saryu class Patrol Vessel built at Goa Shipyard in 2014, boasts a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 6000 nautical miles. Armed with a 76-mm SRGM (super rapid gun mount) and equipped with a helicopter, rescue boats, and an armed contingent of Marcos (marine commandos), Sumitra showcases a total approach to maritime security.
The recent operation targeted the hijacked fishing vessel Al Naeemi, where the pirates had taken 19 crew members hostage. Responding swiftly, INS Sumitra, through coercive posturing and the effective deployment of its integral helicopter and boats, compelled the safe release of the crew and the vessel. Confirmatory boarding was undertaken to ensure the well-being of the crew held captive by the pirates.
“INS Sumitra, post rescuing MV Iman, was again pressed into action to locate & intercept another Iranian flagged FV which had been boarded by pirates and her Crew taken hostage,” the Indian Navy said on Tuesday.
Responding swiftly to the developing situation, the INS Sumitra “intercepted the FV on PM 29 Jan 24 & through coercive posturing & effective deployment of her integral helo & boats compelled the safe release of the crew and the vessel”.
“This rescue of hijacked Vessels, through swift, persistent and relentless efforts by Mission Deployed Indian Navy warship in the Southern Arabian Sea approx 850 nm West of Kochi, also prevents misuse of Fishing Vessels as Mother Ships for further acts of Piracy on Merchant Vessels,” it added.
Both anti-piracy operations unfolded in the southern Arabian Sea, approximately 850 nautical miles west of Kochi. The Navy’s proactive measures prevented the potential misuse of these fishing vessels as mother ships for further acts of piracy on merchant vessels.
INS Sumitra, an indigenous offshore patrol vessel, plays a vital role in the Indian Navy’s continuous efforts to maintain maritime security in the region. The Navy has been on a 365-day 24/7 anti-piracy patrol since 2008, contributing significantly to safeguarding international sea lanes of communication for global maritime trade.
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