Indian Navy Thwarts Second Hijacking Attempt in Arabian Sea within 24 Hours
The Indian Navy‘s swift response to the escalating piracy threat in the Arabian Sea reflects its commitment to maritime security. On Tuesday, the INS Sumitra successfully rescued the Iranian-flagged fishing vessel (FV) Al Naeemi, which had fallen victim to armed pirates near the Somali coast. This marked the second rescue operation within 24 hours, highlighting the heightened security challenges in the region.
The FV Al Naeemi, carrying 19 Pakistani nationals, was intercepted by Somali pirates, prompting the INS Sumitra to spring into action once again. Employing decisive measures, including the deployment of integral helicopters and boats, the Indian Navy compelled the safe release of the vessel and its crew from the clutches of the pirates.
These rescue missions, executed with the assistance of elite marine commandos, underscore the Indian Navy’s unwavering dedication to combating piracy and ensuring the safety of maritime traffic in the Arabian Sea. Following the rescues, confirmatory boarding operations were conducted to sanitize the vessels and verify the well-being of the crew.
Piracy remains a persistent threat in the region, with Somali pirates often hijacking fishing vessels to use them as mother ships for launching attacks on merchant vessels. By swiftly intervening and thwarting such attempts, the Indian Navy has prevented the escalation of piracy activities and safeguarded maritime trade routes.
The recent incidents, including the missile strike on the Marshall Islands-flagged merchant vessel Marlin Luanda, further underscore the complex security challenges facing the Arabian Sea. With tensions escalating in the Red Sea and the resurgence of piracy off the Somali coast, the Indian Navy has intensified surveillance efforts and deployed task groups to counter emerging threats effectively.
In addition to conventional naval assets, the Indian Navy has augmented its surveillance capabilities with P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft, Sea Guardian remotely piloted aircraft, Dorniers, helicopters, and coast guard ships. This comprehensive approach aims to enhance maritime security and deter illicit activities in the region.
The resurgence of piracy in the Arabian Sea is a cause for concern, given the significant decline in pirate attacks witnessed in recent years. From 2008 to 2013, the region experienced nearly 700 pirate attacks, but concerted international efforts led to a substantial decrease, with only 16 attacks reported between 2014 and 2019. However, the recent incidents highlight the need for sustained vigilance and cooperation among maritime nations to counter evolving threats effectively.
The Indian Navy’s proactive stance against piracy and its efforts to ensure the safety of commercial shipping align with its broader objectives of upholding maritime security and promoting stability in the region. Through coordinated actions and strategic partnerships, the Navy continues to play a crucial role in safeguarding India’s maritime interests and contributing to global security efforts.
The recent escalation of tensions in and around the Red Sea has further complicated the maritime security landscape, with Iran-backed Houthi rebels launching missile and drone attacks on merchant vessels. These incidents not only pose a direct threat to commercial shipping but also have broader implications for regional stability. Several ships targeted in these attacks have had Indian crews on board or were en route to Indian shores, underscoring the direct impact on India’s maritime interests.
One such instance occurred with the MV Marlin Luanda, which suffered a missile strike in the Gulf of Aden. With 22 Indian nationals and one Bangladeshi citizen among its crew, the attack highlighted the vulnerability of Indian seafarers to these hostile actions. Similarly, the recent drone attack on the Marshall Islands-flagged merchant vessel MV Genco Picardy prompted concerns about the safety of maritime traffic in the region. The vessel, carrying a crew of 22, including nine Indians, was targeted while traversing the Gulf of Aden.
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