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Navy rescues dhow with Indian crew in Gulf of Aden

The traditional wooden vessel,

The traditional wooden vessel, "dhow", which was provided assistance by ‘INS Sumedha’ after it suffered technical issues with its engine, near the Somali coast on January 6, 2020. INS Sumedha is currently on anti-piracy patrol.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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The traditional wooden vessel Al-Hamid was in distress and drifting near the coast of Somalia

In the backdrop of heightened tensions in the Gulf region, the Navy said on Wednesday that it was committed to protecting the “country’s maritime interests” and is closely monitoring the situation. Two days ago an Indian Navy ship deployed on anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden rescued a Sri Lankan-flagged dhow with 13 Indian crew members that was stranded after engine failure and adrift towards the Somalian coast.

“Indian Navy continues to monitor the situation in the Gulf region and is maintaining presence in the region to ensure security of our sea-borne trade and the safety of Indian flag merchant vessels transiting through the region,” the Navy said in a statement.

Anti-piracy patrol

INS Sumedha which is on anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden came to the rescue of the crew of the dhow Al-Hamid on January 6, Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said on the sidelines of an event to showcase the Navy’s tableau for the coming Republic Day parade.

A traditional wooden vessel known as “Dhow,” Al-Hamid was detected by a Navy helicopter launched from the deck of INS Sumedha, which confirmed that the vessel was in distress and drifting near the coast of Somalia,” a Navy statement said. A boarding team along with a naval technical team embarked Al-Hamid for routine checks onboard and render assistance and an assessment revealed that the dhow had suffered a broken main engine shaft, which was not repairable at sea.

The dhow was then towed to safety away from the Somali coast, the Navy stated. Later, the owner of the Al-Hamid has sent another vessel for towing the dhow to port for repairs, the Navy said, adding, before departure, INS Sumedha provided fresh water and medical supplies to the crew of the dhow.

Disaster relief

This year’s tableau of the Navy showcases the under construction indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant, indigenously built Kolkata class stealth destroyer and French Scorpene class submarine Kalvari.

The murals on the sides of the tableau showcase the Navy’s efforts in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the form of rescue operations undertaken on Mahalaxmi Express in Maharashtra last July and the escort operations undertaken in the Persian Gulf under Operation Sankalp.

The Navy had launched ‘Operation Sankalp’ to escort Indian-flagged merchant vessels transiting through to Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman after attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in May and June last year. Later, three-member Navy teams embarked Indian large energy carrying platforms, on request, to advise on protection measures.

Presently, there is one ship being maintained in the Gulf of Aden and one in Gulf of Oman. So far over 70 vessels equivalent to 85 lakh tonnes of cargo were escorted by the Navy under Operation Sankalp, of which about 50 vessels were embarked by armed Navy teams, Navy sources said.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 11:39:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/navy-rescues-dhow-with-indian-crew-in-gulf-of-aden/article30517848.ece

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