Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Indian Navy rescues 21 crew members of MV Leela Norfolk ship off Solamiya coast

Indian Navy rescues 21 crew members of merchant vessel MV Leela Norfolk, including 15 Indians, from pirates off Somalia coast. A rescue operation was launched immediately after the kidnapping and they immediately warned the pirates. Marine Commandos (MARCOs) were sent for sanitization. Marine personnel confirmed the absence of hijackers. According to news agency IANS, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said that four warships have been deployed in the Arabian Sea to prevent such attacks in future.

The Indian Navy said in a statement. “The Indian Navy responded swiftly to the hijacking incident on the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier MV Leela Norfolk with the deployment of a large number of assets (both ships and aircraft) and an aggressive intent to retaliate against the pirates. INS Chennai guided-missile destroyer reached the spot. Action till 03:15 pm. As per news agency ANI report, continuous aerial recce of MV Leela Norfolk was conducted by MQ9B (Sea Guardian), P8I and Integral helicopters.

The statement said, “Subsequently, Indian Navy Marine Commandos boarded MV Leela Norfolk and conducted a thorough cleaning of the upper decks, machinery compartments and living spaces. The team did not find any pirates onboard. Indian Navy The ship was heavily alerted by aircraft and possibly intercepted by an Indian Navy warship, possibly forcing the pirates to flee during the night. All 21 crew of the MV Leela Norfolk have been rescued and are safe. Indian Naval forces are investigating suspicious vessels in the area.”

The Indian Navy further said, “Currently, the crew of the MV is engaged in restoring the propulsion, power supply and steering gear. Thereafter, MV Leela will commence voyage to its destination under the escort of Indian Naval Warship Norfolk, ” ANI reported.

After being rescued the crew members thanked the Indian Navy for their prompt action. They were seen raising slogans of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.

INS Chennai is in the vicinity of the said ship and is providing assistance in restoring power generation and propulsion.

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