The Indian Navy foiled an attempted pirate attack on a Greek merchant ship in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and Somalia, the navy’s western command said.
Officials said the operation was launched Saturday morning when Indian Naval warship INS Godavari on routine patrol in the pirate-infested region received an alert from cargo vessel MV Elinakos that it was being chased by a skiff.
“The INS Godavari was quick to launch a helicopter to locate the skiff being used by the pirates and subsequently launched marine commandos to board the pirate boat. On being approached by the naval boat, the pirates dumped their arms, ammunition and other piracy triggers,” the navy said.
International pirate attacks have increased 36 percent in the first half of 2011 compared to the same period a year ago, but Somali pirates’ hijacking success has fallen. The rise in pirate attacks has increased ocean carrier's insurance costs, which they have passed on to shippers.
Indian officials said German Navy frigate Niedersachsen also coordinated with INS Godavari in the rescue operation. The Panama-flag Elinakos, built in 1997, is a 63,593 deadweight-ton, multipurpose vessel, according to reports
“The Indian navy has been carrying out anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden since 2008 and the INS Godavari, which joined the mission in May this year, has escorted a total of 219 commercial ships including foreign-flag vessels,” the navy statement stated