Mumbai: An offshore patrol vessel of the Indian Navy, INS Sukanya, thwarted another piracy attempt in the Gulf of Aden earlier this week. This makes it the third such successful operation for the ship in about a month. It had warded off attacks on 20 and 24 September.
In this attack navy officials seized three rifles, eight magazines and about 320 rounds of ammunition from the pirate boat which was carrying 14 pirates. Ladders and grapnels used by pirates to board merchant vessels were recovered.
The pirate boat was also carrying a large quantity of fuel and LPG cylinders, in addition to communication and navigation equipment.
The operation began after an Indian merchant vessel MV Desh Rakshak spotted a boat with a skiff in tow approaching it from about 5 to 6 nautical miles. The merchant vessel sent out a distress signal following which INS Sukanya, deployed in the region to carry out anti-piracy escort operations, altered its course.
The patrol vessel of the navy launched the Chetak helicopter, which warned the boat to stop, and asked all the crew members to muster on the upper deck of the boat. A team of marine commandos then boarded the ship and conducted a search. The arms and ammunition were seized and other equipment thrown overboard, and the boat was released, said a Navy release.
This is the fourth time INS Sukanya has thwarted a pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden.
Indian naval ships have prevented 40 piracy attempts in the Gulf of Aden and over 1,700 ships of different flags have been safely escorted.