Indian Navy reported rescuing an Iranian-flagged Fishing Vessel (FV) Iman and its crew amid growing attacks on merchant ships in waters around Middle East.
INS Sumitra was deployed along the East coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden on anti-piracy operations when it responded to a distress message regarding hijacking FV Iman.
"The FV had been boarded by pirates and the crew taken as hostages. Sumitra intercepted the vessel, acted in accordance with the established SOPs to coerce the pirates for the safe release of the crew along with the boat," Navy posted on X.
INS Sumitra ensured successful release of all 17 crew members along with the boat and the FV was subsequently sanitised and released for onward transit.
"Mission deployed Indian Naval ships on anti-piracy and maritime security ops in the Indian Ocean Region symbolise Indian Navy’s resolve towards the safety of all vessels and seafarers at sea," the Navy said in its statement.
This accounts for Indian Navy's third response to a distress call in two weeks in the Gulf of Aden. In earlier two instances, INS Visakhapatnam responded to Marshall Island-flagged merchant vessel.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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