In a collaborative effort, the Indian Navy, along with Seychelles Defence Forces and Sri Lanka Navy, successfully prevented the hijacking of a Sri Lankan fishing vessel. The joint operation led to the surrender of three pirates to the Seychelles Coast Guard, ensuring the safety of all six crew members aboard the hijacked vessel, named LORENZO PUTHA 04.
The Ministry of Defence reported the hijacking incident occurred approximately 955 nautical miles east of Mogadishu, Somalia, on January 27. Following the report, the Indian Navy swiftly deployed INS Sharda from Kochi on January 28, while the HALE Sea Guardian was tasked to locate and intercept the hijacked fishing vessel.
Efficient operational coordination and information sharing through the Sri Lanka and Seychelles International Liaison Officers at IFC IOR, New Delhi, played a crucial role in the interception. SCGS Topaz in Seychelles’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) successfully intercepted the hijacked fishing vessel on January 29.
In a separate incident, the Indian naval ship Sumitra thwarted a piracy attempt on FV Iman off the East Coast of Somalia. This successful anti-piracy operation resulted in the rescue of Fishing Vessel Al Naeemi and her 19-member Pakistani crew from 11 Somali Pirates.
Both operations highlight the proactive measures taken by the Indian Navy to combat piracy in the region and ensure the safety of maritime activities. The hijacked vessel is currently being escorted to Mahe, Seychelles, under the protection of the Seychelles Coast Guard.