Indian, Chinese Navy ships thwart hijacking attempt in Gulf of Aden

INS Mumbai seen with attacked bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden. Photo: Indian Navy

Indian and Chinese Navy ships prevented pirates from hijacking a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden late on April 8.

The captain of the Tuvalu-registered bulk carrier MV OS 35 sent a distress call after the pirates attacked and boarded the vessel. The vessel’s crew locked themselves in a strong room on board following the attack.

Indian Navy ships Mumbai, Tarkash, Trishul and Aditya proceeding on deployment to the Mediterranean and passing through the Gulf of Aden, responded to the call and caught up with the merchant vessel by the early hours of 09 April 2017.

A Chinese vessel boarding team from the PLA Navy ship Yulin boarded the vessel with air support from an Indian Navy helicopter.

The search of the bulk carrier’s deck revealed that pirates had fled the ship sometime in the night.

According to the Indian Navy, all 19 Filipino crew members are safe.

EUNAVFOR, which leads a counter-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden, is yet to confirm the incident, the agency said in a statement on April 8.

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