India Deploys Second Guided-Missile Destroyer In Gulf Of Aden To Counter Pirates’ Threat

Following the hijacking of a cargo ship flying the flag of Malta by pirates, the Indian Navy has sent a second frontline ship to the Gulf of Aden to help with its fight against piracy.

Officials say the Navy now has the stealth guided-missile destroyers INS Kochi and INS Kolkata in the area.

The Navy quickly responded when the hijacked ship MV Ruen (flagged in Malta) called for help on December 14.

After a few days, it took one of the 18 crew members off the coast of Somalia to get medical help after the pirates hurt him.

“In a swift response, Indian Navy’s maritime patrol aircraft deployed to investigate the incident arrived overhead MV Ruen on December 15 and established communication with the crew,” an official from the Navy told us.

“The citadel was said to be safe for all 18 crew members (there were no Indians on board). At the same time, INS Kochi, which was on an anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden, was immediately diverted to help, he said.

An official said that INS Kochi caught the MV Ruen early on December 16 and sent out its own helicopter to check out the situation.

“The crew of the MV Ruen confirmed that the citadel had been breached and that the pirates had taken all of the crew hostage.” He also said that one of the crew members had been hurt but was said to be stable.

“Whilst 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,” said he.

The Navy spokesperson said that on December 16, a Japanese warship also arrived in the area. Later that same day, the Spanish warship ESPNS Victoria took over from the Japanese ship.

“Indian Navy ship maintained in close vicinity of hijacked vessel during its transit towards Somalia from December 16 to 17, suitably engaging with the pirates and coordinating actions with the other warships,” said the official.

The hijacked ship entered Somalia’s territorial waters on December 17. INS Kochi was able to get the injured crew member freed by the pirates early on December 18 so that they could get more medical care.

“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,” a person said.

“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 in the region,” he explained.

“The Indian Navy remains committed to ensuring safety of merchant shipping and rendering assistance to the mariners at sea, as a ‘first responder’ in the region,” said the official.

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