Delhi/Mumbai: Prompt action by the Indian Navy staved
off a pirate attack on a Chinese cargo vessel far out in the
Arabian Sea, forcing the brigands to flee and earning kudos from
the authorities in Beijing, a senior naval official said Friday.
An Indian Navy TU-142 maritime
reconnaissance aircraft made several low sorties over the MV Full
City, 450 nautical miles (850 km) off Karwar in Karnataka, warning
the pirates to immediately leave the vessel or face the wrath of
Indian Navy and Coast Guard ships that were fast closing in.
The warnings worked and the pirates scampered into the skiff from
which they had boarded the vessel and sailed toward a nearby
mothership, which immediately set off toward Somalia at full
speed, the official said, requesting anonymity due to service
The aircraft stayed on station for four hours till the Indian
combat vessels arrived on the scene in an operation that was
closely coordinated with a NATO Task Force, a Chinese Task Force
and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre at Beijing,
highlighting the international cooperation in the anti-piracy
efforts in the Indian Ocean, the official said.
"The Chinese Task Force also thanked the Indian Navy for its
prompt and persistent action leading to the pirate attack on MV
Full City being repelled," the officer added.
MV Full City, a bulk carrier loaded with rock phosphate and bound
for Tuticorin port in Tamil Nadu, came under siege from the
pirates at 8.45 a.m. on Thursday about 450 nautical miles (850 km)
west of Karwar in Karnataka.
The 24-member Chinese crew quickly locked themselves up in the
vessel's safe house, preventing their capture by the pirates, and
sent out an emergency message that the Indian Navy promptly
responded to by sending out its vessels and an aircraft, the
Sailors from the Turkish naval vessel Giresun, which is part of
the NATO Task Force, eventually boarded MV Full City and sanitised
it before the crew came out of the safe house.
MV Full City is now continuing its passage through the eastern
Arabian Sea, with its safety assured by the sustained anti-piracy
vigil being maintained by the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast
Guard, the officer added.
He said that India's efforts in the Arabian Sea and the eastern
Arabian Sea, both independent and collaborative, have resulted in
a drop of over 80 percent in pirate attacks in the region, with
not a single attack in April.
In the past few months, the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard
have not only prevented several pirate attacks but also sunk four
pirate mother-ships and nabbed over 100 brigands, who have been
booked by the Mumbai police.