Italian vessel violated anti-piracy norms: Navy

Last Updated: Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 22:08

New Delhi: Italian merchant vessel Enrica
Lexie had violated the established anti-piracy norms when it
fired at an Indian boat carrying 11 fishermen off the Kollam
coast in Kerala killing two of them, the Navy on Thursday said.

Whenever there is a piracy attempt on a merchant vessel,
it is supposed to communicate to its base or nearest ship but
no such communication was registered from the Italian ship in
this incident, navy sources said here.

The incident was reported only after the fishermen
returned to their village and the Italians had not informed
authorities and agencies concerned even after killing the
fishermen, they said.

The security detail on the merchant vessel seemed to be
trigger-happy as they directly attacked Indian fishermen, the
sources said.

As per the norms, any ship coming under attack has to
report the incident immediately to the single primary point of
contact which is the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) in
Dubai.

The ships are also supposed to make `Mayday` distress
calls on particular radio frequencies watched by the navies
but no such attempt seems to have been made by the vessel.

In case of an attack, merchant vessels are first required
to adopt evasive measures and if such a measure does not help,
they are supposed to fire warning shorts in air first.

Defence Minister AK Antony also termed the incident as
unfortunate and serious and said investigations were being
carried out by the local police and the Coast Guard in the
case.

Noting that strict vigil was maintained by authorities,
Antony said, "We want everything as per law... At this stage,
saying too much is not correct. But I can tell you law will
take its own course."

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 22:08

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