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What INS Tabar sunk was a Thai trawler

November 26, 2008 13:56 IST
Last Updated: November 26, 2008 14:49 IST

A suspected pirate vessel that was destroyed by India's INS Tabar last week in the Gulf of Aden was in fact a Thai fishing trawler which had been hijacked, a maritime bureau confirmed today.

Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center, said one Thai crew member died when the Indian frigate attacked the trawler on November 18 in waters near Somalia, which is infested with pirates.

The Indian Navy's attack was earlier heralded as heroic and several maritime bodies felt that navies patrolling in the region should take cue and be active like INS Tabar.

Fourteen crew members are still missing while a Cambodian sailor was rescued four days ago, Choong said.

The Bureau received a report about the mistake by the Indian Navy from the Thai trawler's owner Bangkok-based Sirichai Fisheries.

"The Indian Navy assumed it was a pirate vessel because they may have seen armed pirates on board the boat which has been hijacked earlier," Choong said.

Choong said Sirichai Fisheries found out about the mishap after speaking to the Cambodian sailor, who is in a hospital in Yemem.

"We are sad by the incident and it is unfortunate," Choong said and hoped that the incident will not affect anti-piracy operation by the multi-coalition navies there. 

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