Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Navy foils pirate attack on tanker in Gulf of Aden

NEW DELHI: The Indian Navy on Monday prevented a pirate attack on a US-owned tanker in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's coast.

A Navy spokesperson here confirmed the attack on a private tanker that was flying a Norway flag. He said a naval ship prevented the pirates from taking control of the ship.

The incident occurred around 3 pm local time when MT Nordik Spirit, the tanker owned by Nordik Shipping Company, was sailing in the Gulf of Aden. The pirates made an attempt to hijack the tanker by firing small arms at the crew members.

"The crew immediately sent out a distress signal and the Indian Navy ship, which was in the vicinity, responded to the SOS call," the Navy spokesperson said.

"The warship flew out its helicopters with marine commandos and on seeing it, the pirates gave up their hijack attempt," the spokesperson added.

There have been several hijacks in the Gulf of Aden in the past two years on commercial tankers. In September last year, all 18 Indians on board a Panama-owned oil tanker were hijacked in the Gulf of Aden.

About 15 Somalian pirates were involved in the attack and had hijacked the vessel, bound for Mumbai from Suez, about 38 miles off the coast of Yemen. The ship was taken to Somalia where ransom was negotiated. 

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