The Indian Navy on Sunday successfully neutralised a pirate boat in the Gulf of Aden.

INS Delhi, on anti-piracy mission in the region since July this year, was escorting 12 merchant vessels, including ‘Jag Ratan', an Indian Flag Merchant Vessel. At about 1215 hours, some 180 km north of the Somali Coast, in the International Recommended Transit Corridor, a boat was detected approaching the formation at high speed. INS Delhi repeatedly called the boat on Mercantile Marine Radio, but the vessel did not respond, a Defence Ministry release said.

Aerial cover

Sensing that it might pose a risk to ships being escorted, INS Delhi safely manoeuvred the formation of merchant ships away and intercepted the boat. A helicopter was launched to provide aerial cover to the merchant vessels and the boat “Bareeda” was intercepted, forced to stop and was boarded by a team of marine commandos from INS Delhi.

A cache of arms, fuel drums and ship-boarding equipment were found on the boat. Seven Somali and one Yemeni nationals were part of the crew. The men were disarmed and excess fuel on the boat was disposed of .

The INS Delhi team successfully prevented a piracy attack.

Ever since the Navy started its anti-piracy operations in October 2008 over 1,200 ships had been escorted.

This was the 16th piracy attack that had been prevented, the release said, emphasising that not a single ship under the escort of the Navy had fallen prey to pirates.

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