Malaysian copter saves Indian ship from pirates

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Malaysian copter saves Indian ship from pirates
Kuala Lumpur, Jan 1: A Malaysian military helicopter saved an Indian tanker from being hijacked on Thursday Jan 1. It is less than two weeks after rescuing a Chinese vessel from being plundered, the Malaysian navy saved an Indian tanker, MT Abul Kalam Azad, from a similar fate.

Malaysian Nay foiled the 2009's first attack by pirates in the dangerous Gulf of Aden off Somalia, an official said.

“This was a New Year"s gift to the owners of the Indian tanker. If the Malaysians had not arrived their ship would have been certainly hijacked," said Noel Choong of the International Maritime Bureau"s piracy reporting centre.

An Indian Navy destroyer INS Mysore, now on patrol in the Gulf of Aden, had received a distress call from an Indian merchant vessel MT Abul Kalam Azad in the Gulf of Aden on Thursday when it was at a distance of 70 nautical miles from the INS Mysore.

The INS Mysore then requested a Saudi naval ship, which was closer to the Indian merchant vessel, to intervene. The pirates were then chased away by a naval helicopter, sources said. There was, however, no confirmation from the Indian Navy on whether the naval helicopter which had rescued the Indian vessel was Saudi or Malaysian.

Choong said the pirates, believed to be Somalis, tried to board the vessel several times while 'firing repeatedly' but failed. The captain increased the ship"s speed to maximum, made evasive mano-euvres and sent an SOS, which was received by a Malaysian frigate, KD Sri Inderah Sakti, only 15 nautical miles away, he said.

On spotting the helicopter the pirates stopped firing and fled. There were no injuries to the crew but the tanker sustained some damage, Choong said.

OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)

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