A Thai national, held hostage by pirates in the Eastern Arabian Sea, was rescued by the Navy on Saturday evening.
INS Krishna, a first squadron training ship, was on patrol about 350 nautical miles off Minicoy Island, when it spotted Thai trawler Prantalay 12, which the pirates had been using as a mother ship after hijacking it several months ago.
“On sighting INS Krishna, the trawler started heading westward at high speed. One of the Thai nationals held hostage on board was pushed into the sea. INS Krishna immediately rescued him and provided him medical aid. He has been brought to Kochi for further formalities,” said the Navy in a media release.
‘Prantalay 12 is the second suspected mother vessel that has been cleared from the Eastern Arabian Sea recently. An Indian Navy ship had cleared MT Polar, another mother pirate vessel, from this area a few days ago,” it added.
The Southern Naval Command-based INS Krishna was deployed to patrol the sea west of Lakshadweep islands in view of a spurt in piracy-related incidents in the Eastern Arabian Sea.
New Delhi Special Correspondent reports:
A Navy spokesperson said here on Monday that the Thai sailor was thrown overboard, most probably as a diversionary tactic.
A Bangladeshi merchant vessel was recently hijacked by suspected Somali pirates for ransom. It was carrying a huge quantity of nickel and had a 26-strong crew on board. MV Jahan Moni sent a distress signal while being chased by the pirates 80 nautical miles from Minicoy Island but within India's Exclusive Economic Zone.
However, the Navy and the Coast Guard could not prevent the hijacking. “Navy and Coast Guard ships and aircraft continue to patrol the areas of reported pirate attacks to ensure the safety of sea lanes,'' the spokesperson said.
MV Jahan Moni was understood to have skipped some of the procedures laid down by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to enhance maritime domain awareness of naval ships operating on anti-piracy missions.