Indian Navy Thwarts Somali Pirates, Safely Rescues Hijacked Ship and Crew

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In a daring operation spanning over 40 hours, INS Kolkata, deployed in the Arabian Sea, successfully foiled the attempts of Somali pirates to hijack ships transiting through the region. The operation reached its climax on March 16, 2024, when INS Kolkata intercepted the pirate ship MV Ruen, which had been under the control of pirates since December 2023.

The Indian Navy’s Maritime Security Operations have conducted extensive regional surveillance, monitoring traffic in Areas of Interest. Utilizing this surveillance data, the Navy tracked the movement of the pirate ship Ruen and directed INS Kolkata to intercept it approximately 260 nautical miles east of Somalia.

Upon interception, INS Kolkata confirmed the presence of armed pirates through a ship-launched drone. However, the pirates resorted to hostility, shooting down the drone and firing at the Indian Naval warship. In response, INS Kolkata disabled the pirate ship’s steering system and navigational aids, forcing it to stop.

With precise and measured actions, INS Kolkata engaged in forceful negotiations, ultimately leading to the surrender of all 35 Somali pirates on board. Additionally, the original crew of MV Ruen, consisting of 17 members, were safely evacuated without any injuries reported. The vessel was thoroughly searched for illegal arms, ammunition, and contraband.

Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization Congratulated the Indian Navy on the successful release of the 17 crew members of MV Ruen, who had been held by pirates since December 2023.

The operation’s success was bolstered by the deployment of INS Subhadra and the air-dropping of Marine Commandos (PRAHARS) by C-17 aircraft. Surveillance of the pirate vessel was maintained through High Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft (HALE RPA) and P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

The seaworthiness of MV Ruen will be assessed on March 17, 2024. The vessel, carrying approximately 37,800 tons of cargo estimated at around one million dollars, will be safely brought to India.This operation, culminating in the safe rescue of MV Ruen and its crew, underscores the commitment of the Indian Navy to reinforce peace and stability in the region and counter the resurgence of piracy in the Southern Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The Indian Navy remains steadfast as the ‘First Responder’ in the IOR, ensuring maritime security and safety.

IAT News Service
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