Indian Navy’s INS Visakhapatnam Rescues American Cargo Ship
The Indian Navy’s warship, INS Visakhapatnam, played a crucial role in a high-seas drama in the Gulf of Aden. This all started when a US-operated cargo ship named MV Genco Picardy, flying the flag of the Marshall Islands, was attacked by a drone. The attack happened late at night on Wednesday, around 11:11 pm.
MV Genco Picardy immediately sent out a distress call, known as a Mayday call, after the drone attack. Responding swiftly, INS Visakhapatnam, which is equipped with guided missiles, reached the scene by 12:30 am the next day. This quick action by the Indian Navy is significant, especially considering the ongoing threats in that region.
The Gulf of Aden and nearby areas like the Red Sea and parts of the Arabian Sea have seen a series of similar attacks on merchant ships. These attacks include both drone and pirate activities.
In this particular incident, the crew of MV Genco Picardy, which includes 9 Indians among its 22 members, was reported safe. Thankfully, they also managed to control a fire that broke out onboard due to the drone strike.
Experts in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) from INS Visakhapatnam boarded the merchant ship to assess and secure the damage. After their thorough inspection, they declared the ship safe for further travel.
The Indian Navy has been increasingly vigilant in these waters due to the recent spike in attacks against merchant ships, including those bound for India.
For example, two other ships, MV Chem Pluto and MV Saibaba, were also targeted in similar incidents. These attacks are part of a larger pattern of violence in the region, often linked to the Houthi militia, which has been targeting commercial shipping with missiles and drones.
The Houthis, who are backed by Iran, have expressed support for Hamas in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.
The rising incidents in these maritime regions have become a major concern for several countries, particularly because they affect energy and economic interests.
Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has even discussed these issues with his Iranian counterpart, emphasizing the need for maritime security and the safety of shipping lanes.