Navy rescues 23 Pakistan crew from hijacked Iranian ship

The Iranian-flagged FV AI-Kambar was intercepted by INS Sumedha on March 29, the Navy’s statement said.

The Indian Navy said the pirates on board the ship were made to surrender.

The Indian Navy on Friday rescued a hijacked Iranian fishing ship operated by a 23-strong Pakistani crew. The Navy ran the operation for 12 hours, employing “intense coercive tactical measures” to rescue the ship as well as the crew, it said in a statement.

Specialist teams of the Indian Navy were sanitising the Iranian ship. They are also checking its seaworthiness. The ship will be later escorted to its destination so that it can undertake its regular fishing activities.

The Iranian-flagged FV AI-Kambar was intercepted by INS Sumedha on March 29, the Navy’s statement said. It was later joined by the guided missile frigate INS Trishul.

The Indian Navy said the pirates on board the ship were made to surrender and the Pakistani crew was rescued.

“After more than 12 hrs of intense coercive tactical measures as per the SOPs, the pirates on board the hijacked FV were forced to surrender. The crew, comprising 23 Pakistani nationals, have been safely rescued,” it said.

“Indian Naval specialist teams are presently undertaking thorough sanitisation and seaworthiness checks of the FV in order to escort her to a safe area for resuming normal fishing activities,” the Navy added.

On Friday, the Navy said it had been engaged in an operation to rescue the ship which was hijacked by nine armed pirates.

The fishing vessel at the time of incident was approximately 90 nm southwest of Socotra.

Socotra Archipelago is in the northwest Indian Ocean near the Gulf of Aden.

The Indian Navy said it remains committed to ensuring maritime security in the region and safety of seafarers, “irrespective of the nationalities”.

The Indian Navy has been proactive in anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean Region. Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said earlier this month that the force will take “affirmative action” to ensure a safer and more secure Indian Ocean Region.

As part of maritime security operations, the Navy has undertaken anti-piracy, anti-missiles and anti-drones operations; 110 lives — 45 Indians and 65 foreign nationals — have been saved during ‘Op Sankalp’ in that 100-day period, the Navy had said on March 23.

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