New Delhi: On the night of December 14, the Indian Navy reacted swiftly on a report of potential piracy attack in the Arabian Sea.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it was reported that six unknown people had boarded the Malta flagged vessel, MV Ruen.
In a swift response, Indian Navy’s maritime patrol aircraft arrived overhead MV Ruen and established communication with the crew. Concurrently, INS Kochi on anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden was also diverted to render assistance, an official said.
The MoD said that INS Kochi intercepted MV Ruen in the early hours of December 16 and launched its integral helicopter to assess the situation. It was ascertained from the crew that the citadel onboard MV Ruen had been breached and all the crew members were held hostage by the pirates.
One of the crew members had also sustained injuries, but was reported to be stable. While no armed intervention was undertaken to ensure crew safety onboard the hijacked MV, requisite actions were taken by the warship towards ensuring suitable treatment of the crew by the pirates, official added.
A Japanese warship also arrived in the area and was relieved by the Spanish warship ESPNS Victoria later in the day. An Indian Navy ship was in close vicinity of the hijacked vessel during its transit towards Somalia from December 16-17, suitably engaging with the pirates and coordinating actions with the other warships, official added.
The hijacked vessel entered the territorial waters of Somalia on December 17.
INS Kochi was successful in ensuring that the injured crew member was released by the pirates in the early hours of December 18 for further medical treatment.
The injured crew member was medically attended to onboard the Indian Navy ship but due to urgent medical attention required, which was beyond the scope of the ship, he was transferred ashore at Oman on December 19, the official added.
According to the MoD, in the light of the above incident and towards augmenting the anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden region, the Indian Navy has deployed another indigenous guided missile destroyer there.