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Indian warship comes to rescue of merchant vessel under attack in Gulf of Aden

February 24, 2024 21:26 IST

An Indian warship provided critical assistance to a Palau-flagged cargo vessel in the Gulf of Aden after it caught fire following a missile attack, in the latest in a series of such support missions by the Indian Navy in the region.

The vessel MV Islander came under attack on February 22 and a crew member of the ship sustained injuries, Indian military officials said Saturday.

The US military's Central Command said in a statement that the Houthi militants fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles from southern Yemen into the Gulf of Aden on Thursday. It said the missiles impacted British-owned cargo vessel MV Islander causing one minor injury and damage.

An explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team of the Navy embarked the vessel and sanitised it for any residual risk following which the vessel was cleared for onward transit, the Indian Navy said.

The fresh incident comes amid growing global concerns over attacks on various commercial vessels in the Red Sea by the Houthi militants.


A medical team of the Indian Navy also embarked on MV Islander and provided medical assistance to one injured crew member, the Navy said.

"Palau Flagged MV Islander caught fire after an attack likely by drone/ missile on February 22. Responding swiftly to the distress call, Indian Navy's destroyer, mission deployed in the Gulf of Aden for maritime security operations, arrived in the vicinity of the vessel in the afternoon of Feb 22," it said in a statement.

"Indian Naval EOD specialists embarked the vessel and sanitised it for any residual risk. The vessel was cleared for onward transit. On Master's request, the medical team also embarked the ship and provided medical assistance to an injured crew member," it said.

It said relentless efforts by Indian Naval ships reaffirms tghe Navy's steadfast commitment towards safety and security of merchant shipping and seafarers.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said India is maintaining a sustained presence in the strategic waters to ensure safety and security of all cargo vessels and it will not shrink from countering any threat that undermines collective well-being of the region.

In the last few weeks, the Indian Navy extended assistance to a number of merchant vessels in the Western Indian Ocean following attacks on them.

The Indian Navy, earlier this month, foiled a piracy attempt on an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel with a crew of 11 Iranian and eight Pakistani nationals along the East coast of Somalia.

In January, Indian warship INS Sumitra rescued 19 Pakistani crew of a fishing vessel after their Iranian-flagged fishing vessel was attacked by pirates in east coast of Somalia.

The Navy on January 5 thwarted an attempted hijacking of Liberian-flagged vessel MV Lila Norfolk in the North Arabian Sea and rescued all its crew members.

Liberian-flagged vessel MV Chem Pluto, with 21 Indian crew members, was the target of a drone attack off India's west coast on December 23.

The Navy has already enhanced deployment of its frontline ships and surveillance aircraft for maritime security operations in view of the maritime environment in the critical sea lanes including in the North and Central Arabian Sea.

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