The Indian Navy has thwarted a pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden.
At 1250 hrs local time on Thursday, the INS Talwar, while escorting three merchant vessels, received a distress call from one of the ships, MV Maude, a Liberian-flagged, Norwegian owned vessel with an Indian crew of ten.
The MV Maude had noticed a skiff heading towards them at high speed which had not been noticed by the INS Talwar, as the visibility was restricted to two miles due to haze.
The INS Talwar immediately dispatched a helicopter and lowered Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RIBs) into the water. The pirates’ skiff moved behind the MV Maude putting the merchant vessel between itself and the INS Talwar.
When the Indian Naval helicopter arrived on the scene the pirates had managed to hook a ladder onto the MV Maude and were in the process of boarding. The chopper opened fire from its 7.62 mm Light Machine Gun (LMG) to dissuade them and in the process, the ladder was dislodged and the two pirates attempting to clamber aboard were prevented from doing so.
It is not clear as to whether they fell into the water or manage to get back to the skiff.
The RIB then approached the skiff, upon which the pirates on board raised their hands in surrender. The skiff was boarded and arms, ammunition and other equipment was confiscated. Since the INS Talwar was on escort duty and could not remain in the area, the skiff was emptied of its fuel and remained there until it the six pirates on board were arrested by other warships in the area.
Recoveries from the skiff included passports, Kalashnikovs, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs), flares, mobile phones, hand-held GPS devices, Rockets, and 9 mm pistols. The other two ships on in the convoy were the Southern Independence and the Aramis. The incident took place 50-60 nautical miles (NM) south of Yemen in the 12 NM-wide IRTC corridor.
This is the fifth incident where the Indian Navy has dealt with a pirate attack.