New Delhi, Nov 11 : An Indian Navy ship patrolling the Gulf of Aden region off the Somalian coast repulsed an attack by pirates on an Indian ship MV Jag Arnav around 10:30 a.m. today.
Pirates attacked the ship when it was 60 nautical miles east of Aden. An Indian naval ship patrolling in the vicinity monitored the alarm raised by the merchant ship.
According to the Navy, soon after, an armed helicopter with marine commandoes was launched from the naval ship to intervene and prevent the pirates from boarding and hijacking the merchant vessel.
The timely and successful intervention aborted the pirates' attempt. Thereafter, another naval ship -- INS Tabar -- escorted the Indian merchant ship to safety.
Reacting on the successful repulsion of the attack, Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta said: "Piracy is a crime which all men of war are required to combat at all times."
"Indian naval ships operating in piracy-infected areas are always in a high state of alert and have the capability to intervene by air or ship borne weapons. Their mandate is to ensure that the safety of our sovereign assets is maintained," he added.
The Indian Navy was specifically deployed in the region in the wake of continued hijack attempts on Indian ships and crew - notably the hijack of MV Stolt Valor.
The Indian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since October 23 as a sizeable portion of our country's trade flows through the area and there has been a quantum increase in the number of piracy attacks in this region over the last few months.
The Navy carries out these patrols in coordination with the Ministry of Shipping and is intended to protect Indian merchant vessels from being attacked by pirates and also to instill confidence in our large seafaring community.
The Great Eastern Shipping Co Ltd owns MV Jag Arnav, a 38,265-tonne bulk carrier. The ship had transited the Suez Canal a few days ago and was eastward bound in the Gulf of Aden when it came under attack from the pirates. By Praful Kumar Singh