The Indian Navy, on Thursday, saved a Chinese merchant vessel under pirate attack in the Arabian Sea.
According to naval sources, pirates were attempting to hijack the Panama-flagged MV (Merchant Vessel) Full City, owned and crewed by Chinese nationals, 40 nautical miles (over 830 kilometers) west of the Indian Naval base of Karwar.An Indian Naval Tu-142 Bear aircraft, already on an anti-piracy mission, spotted the attempted hijacking and relayed radio warnings to the pirates, who scarpered at the prospect of butting heads with the Indian Navy. The Bear made low passes over the vessel, making the presence of Indian warships in the vicinity clear to the pirates on the skiff, who had already boarded the Full City.
The skiff made for its mothership, which left the area as quickly as it could.
At that time the Indian Bear had been trying to locate another pirate mothership that had attempted a failed hijacking of the MV Ital Glamour on Wednesday, about 500 nautical miles west of Karwar. And while the attack was foiled by the ship, Indian Naval and Coast Guard assets, already on anti-piracy deployment off the Lakshadweep Islands, went on the prowl to locate the mothership in question.
When the attack on the Full City was reported on Thursday, it was immediately relayed to the Indian Naval aircraft on patrol and the Coast Guard unit in the area.Even though the pirates had boarded the bulk carrier, the 24-member Chinese crew managed to lock themselves in the ship’s safe house. The Indian Bear arrived on the scene immediately and with radio warnings, made the consequences of their actions only too clear to the pirates, who then disembarked and made haste out of the area, choosing discretion over a confrontation with Indian warships.
The Chinese have appreciated the assistance rendered by the Indian Navy, which has displayed leadership in combating piracy, having captured 120 pirates in actions against pirate motherships over the last four months in the Arabian Sea.