• Suspected Somali pirates tried to hijack a merchant vessel with 19 Filipino crew
• Chinese and Indian navies foiled the pirates’ attack
• The ship’s captain and its crew were rescued unharmed
The captain and 19 Filipino crew of a Tuvalu-flagged merchant ship were rescued from a pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia after the Indian and Chinese navies responded to the alert sent out by the United Kingdom’s Maritime Trade Organization on Sunday, April 9.
As mentioned in The Times of India, the Indian navy was able to establish direct communication with the merchant ship’s captain and crew who were hiding in the ship’s citadel – a room where the crew of the ship can hide in case there is a pirate attack on the ship or when the pirates are aboard the ship.
A helicopter was deployed from an Indian warship and undertook an aerial reconnaissance to ascertain the location of the pirates, while a Chinese military vessel moved in for a rescue operation. The Chinese forces boarded the ship, but no pirates were found as they reportedly fled after seeing the military ships.
“In a show of international maritime cooperation against piracy, a boarding party from a nearby Chinese military ship went on board the merchant ship, while the Indian helicopter provided air cover. It has been established that all 19 Filipino crew of the vessel are safe,” Indian Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma said.