In a synchronized effort, the Indian Navy, in conjunction with naval forces from Sri Lanka and Seychelles, successfully rescued a hijacked fishing vessel carrying six crew members in the sea lanes east of Mogadishu, as announced by officials on Tuesday.
This operation is part of a series of successful rescues carried out by the Indian Navy in response to distress calls from various vessels in recent weeks. The Sri Lankan-flagged fishing trawler, Lorenzo Putha, fell victim to hijacking by three pirates on January 27.
Utilizing a coordinated approach, the Indian Navy deployed INS Sharada and employed the Sea Guardian long-range drones to locate the hijacked fishing vessel. The interception took place the following day.
Commander Vivek Madhwal, spokesperson for the Indian Navy, highlighted the multinational effort in stating, "In a coordinated multilateral response to the hijacking of a Sri Lankan fishing vessel, the Indian Navy in collaboration with Seychelles defence forces and Sri Lankan Navy successfully intercepted and rescued the hijacked vessel."
The three pirates surrendered to the Seychelles Coast Guard, ensuring the safety of all six crew members. The vessel is currently under escort to Mahe in Seychelles.
Madhwal emphasized the effectiveness of operational coordination and information sharing through the Sri Lanka and Seychelles International Liaison Officers at the Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), located in New Delhi. The IFC-IOR was established by the Indian Navy in 2018 to monitor shipping traffic and critical developments in the region through collaborative efforts with like-minded countries.
In a separate operation, INS Sumitra, engaged in anti-piracy and maritime security operations in the east of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden, successfully rescued two hijacked fishing vessels along with 36 crew members (17 Iranian and 19 Pakistani) in the Southern Arabian Sea within a span of 36 hours, according to Navy reports on Wednesday.
(With Agency Inputs)