Indian, Chinese navies thwart piracy bid near Aden

The 178m-long bulk carrier, OS 35, bearing the flag of Tuvalu was attacked by pirates on Saturday night while it was heading from Port Kelang to Aden Port.

The attempted hijacking came days after pirates seized an Indian dhow that was en route from Dubai to Bosaso in Somalia's Puntland region.

April. 9 (ANI): The Indian Navy on Sunday assisted the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in sanitising a ship hijacked in the Gulf of Aden.

"An Indian Navy helicopter undertook aerial reconnaissance of the merchant vessel at night, and at sunrise".

Indian Navy was first to respond to the distress call sent out by the merchant ship.

The Chinese team carried out a full search of the ship along with the crew and ascertained the pirates had escaped under cover of darkness after their hijack attempt was foiled due to timely rescue operations mounted by worldwide maritime forces in the vicinity.

The Chinese navy's Yulin guided missile frigate took part in the operation.

The joint action comes amid a recent strain in ties following the Dalai Lama's visit to the Indian border state of Arunachal Pradesh, parts of which China claims as its territory.

Chinese, Pakistani and Italian warships in the vicinity also reached the spot.

"The Indian warships established contact with the Captain of the merchant vessel, who along with the crew had locked themselves in a strong room on board (citadel), as per standard operating procedure". The Chinese special forces moved in for the rescue operation and 18 of its members boarded the ship to sanitise it.

The crew members started to emerge out of the vessel after they received the 'all clear signal.' They later carried out a search of the ship and ascertained that the pirates had fled the ship at night.

The operation to rescue the ship and free those on board was accomplished at dawn today. "The Captain of the merchant vessel profusely thanked the Indian Naval ships for their response and for providing air cover", it added.

  • Zachary Reyes