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Navy’s 40 hrs operation led to surrender of 35 pirates, rescue of 17 crew members

Indian Navy rescue operation

Indian Navy on Sunday said that its rescue operation in the Arabian Sea, which last lasted approximately 40 hours, led to the surrender of 35 pirates and the rescue of 17 crew members of merchant vessel ex-MV Ruen.

The Navy said that it had deployed INS Kolkata in the Arabian Sea to thwart the designs of the Somali pirates to hijack ships transiting through the region.

“Merchant vessel MV Ruen was intercepted on March 15 by INS Kolkata which had been hijacked in December 2023 and was under the control of the Somalian pirates,” the Navy said.

It said that INS Kolkata confirmed the presence of armed pirates on MV Ruen through a ship-launched drone.

“In a reckless hostile act, the pirates shot down the drone and fired at the Indian Naval warship. INS Kolkata disabled the ship’s steering system and navigational aids, forcing the pirate ship to stop,” the Navy said.

The efforts of the Indian Navy in the ongoing anti-piracy operation 1400 nm (2600 km) from mainland India were augmented by the deployment of INS Subhadra in the area and also by air-dropping of the Marine Commandos (PRAHARS) by C-17 aircraft, the official said.

“The pirate vessel was kept under surveillance by HALE RPA and P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft. Due to sustained pressure and calibrated actions by the Indian Navy over 40 hours, all 35 Somali pirates surrendered on March 16 while all 17 original crew members of MV Ruen were safely evacuated from the pirate vessel without any injury,” he said.

He said that the vessel has also been sanitised for the presence of illegal arms, ammunition and contraband.

The Navy has also mentioned that the seaworthiness of MV Ruen will be assessed on March 17 and the vessel carrying approximately 37800 Tonne cargo, estimated at around one million dollars will be brought safely to India.