Indian commandos chase pirate ship away from Arabian Sea

An Indian Navy spokesman said a multi-ship force was tasked to undertake a comprehensive search in the eastern parts of the Arabian Sea and locate and disable probable pirate vessels and skiffs.

Between Nov 24 and 29, the spokesman said, a sudden spurt of piracy attempts were reported in the sea area at distances of 350-700 nautical miles from the west coast of India.

“Reports were also received about MT Polar, a Panama flagged tanker hijacked Oct 30, being in the area and acting as a possible mother ship,” he said.

The Indian Navy despatched its force to the area to search and locate pirate vessels and carry out a thorough anti-piracy sanitization of the area.

The Indian Naval force consisted of a marine commandos team, maritime patrol aircraft, ships and armed helicopters.

Their efforts yielded results as MT Polar cleared off the area Tuesday. It was heading back towards Somalia.

“Even as the movement of MT Polar is being monitored, Indian naval ships are combing the area for other possible mother vessels,” said the spokesman.

He said the threat of piracy in the area which has witnessed recent attacks has considerably decreased due to this development.

In view of increasing incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Navy commenced anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden in October 2008.

Since then the Indian Navy has continuously maintained one ship on patrol in the region with 23 vessels having been deputed for this tour of duty.

These ships have ensured safe passage of 1,415 merchantmen, of various nationalities, across the pirate infested waters in the Gulf of Aden.

Not a single ship under escort of the Indian Navy has been hijacked to date. Indian ships have so far successfully thwarted 23 piracy attempts.

The most recent incidents were of INS Delhi disrupting four piracy attempts in the Gulf of Aden in September and INS Rajput disrupting three piracy attempts in the Gulf of Aden in October.

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