The Indian Navy thwarted an attempted pirate attack on an Indian-flag oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, according to the Navy’s Western Command.
Officials said the operation was launched Tuesday night when Indian Naval warship INS Sukanya on routine patrol in the pirate-infested waters received a distress call from merchant ship MV Desh Rakshak that it was being chased by a skiff.
“The INS Sukanya, which was carrying out escort operations, immediately altered its course toward this boat and launched a Chetak helicopter to carry out an investigation. The boat was warned to stop and the 14-member crew was ordered on the upper deck," the Navy said.
Indian officials said following a combined air and sea raid, the marine commandos captured the pirates and seized a cache of small arms and ammunition from them.
“In addition, ladders and grapnels normally used by pirates to board merchant vessels were also found, clearly indicating piratical intent,” the Navy said.
The 113,976 deadweight-ton Desh Rakshak, built in 2003, is owned by state-run Shipping Corporation of India. The latest operation came just about a month after Indian forces foiled two similar hijacking attempts by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.