On 16 May, an Indian anti-piracy patrol received a distress call from a Liberian-registered bulk carrier that reported an incident of attempted piracy by two suspicious mother vessels along with 7-8 skiffs, in Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ministry of Defense informed.
When it sent the distress call, MV Lord Mountbatten was located in position 230 nautical miles South-West of Salalah and the INS Sharda immediately proceeded to investigate the incident, as it was, at that time, 30 Nm East of the reported position.
On arriving in the area, Sharda detected two dhows along with eight skiffs in vicinity, three of which fled the area at high speeds on sighting the warship.
Indian Navy’s MARCOS, with support of the armed helicopter from the ship, investigated the dhows and their skiffs by conducting board and search operations.
“The absence of any fishing gear onboard the two dhows/ remaining five skiffs indicated malicious intent and possible piracy-linked intentions. One high calibre AKM rifle alongwith one filled magazine (28 rounds) was found hidden onboard one of the dhows. The weapon and ammunition has been confiscated to prevent future illegal misuse”, the official statement says.