Indian naval warship reaches hijacked ship, warns pirates

All the Indian crew on board are safe.

New Delhi: In a high voltage drama unfolding in the high seas, Indian naval warship INS Chennai reached the hijacked vessel MV Lila Norfolk off Somalia coast on Friday and issued a warning to the pirates on board to abandon the vessel, military officials told ANI.

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The Indian warship has also launched its helicopter and the Marine Commandos (MARCOS) are ready for operations. All the Indian crew on board are safe, the officials added.

Earlier, the officials had informed that Merchant vessel MV Lila Norfolk was hijacked by pirates 300 nautical miles east of Somalia, while it was sailing from Port Du Aco in Brazil and was bound for Khalifa Bin Salman in Bahrain.

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The Indian Navy’s Mission Deployed Platforms responded swiftly to the hijacking attempt on board a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier after it received a message on the UKMTO portal indicating boarding by approximately five to six unknown armed personnel on Thursday evening, the Indian Navy said in a statement

In response to the situation, the Indian Navy launched an Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and diverted INS Chennai, deployed for maritime security operations, to assist the vessel.

The aircraft overflew the vessel on Friday morning and established contact with the vessel, ascertaining the safety of the crew.

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