Mother-ship of Somalian pirates sunk by Indian Navy, 15 held

Last Updated: Saturday, January 29, 2011 - 22:19

New Delhi: The Indian Navy has sunk a
mother-ship of Somalian pirates and arrested 15 of them in the
Arabian Sea after a gun-battle off the coast of Lakshadweep
Islands.

The Thailand-registered `Prantalay` was intercepted by
Navy`s Fast Attack Craft (FAC) INS Canskaro yesterday and the
two vessels exchanged fire after which the pirate vessel was
engulfed in flames, a Navy spokesperson said here.

The vessel was being used for piracy by Somalians at
various locations in the Arabian Sea since April 2010 and
posed a grave threat to merchant vessels passing through
there.

The pirates` mother-ship was under constant watch of
the Navy since yesterday morning when a Coast Guard Dornier
saved a merchant vessel from two skiffs of the Prantalay in
the area.

At about 1700 hours on Friday, Cankarso closed
Prantalay and made all efforts to establish communication but
the vessel didn`t respond and continued to proceed westwards
in the hope of escaping, officials said.

The Navy craft also fired warning shots ahead of the
Cankarso to compel her to stop but it opened fire at it.
After the exchange of fire, "it was observed that a
fire had broken out on Prantalay and personnel were also seen
jumping overboard," they said.

After the incident, the Cankarso apprehended 15
pirates and also rescued the 20-member original crew of the
Thai trawler, which was hijacked by pirates in April this
year.

Cankarso was deployed in the area for anti-piracy
patrol, was directed to intercept and investigate Prantalay.

It was subsequently joined by INS Kalpeni and CGS Sankalp and
they searching for any other fishermen or pirates in the area.
In addition to the anti-piracy patrols being sustained
in the Gulf of Aden since Oct 2008, in view of the dangers
from vessels such as Prantalay, the Indian Navy and the Coast
Guard have been maintaining vigil West of the Lakshadweep
Islands for the last two months leading to a 75 per cent
decline in piracy related incidents in the area since December
2010.

South Eastern Arabian sea is a focal point of
international traffic and the security of these sea lanes in
the Arabian Sea is critical to the flow of global trade.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, January 29, 2011 - 22:19

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