Indians, who were a part of the crew onboard the hijacked vessel MV Lili Norfolk, thanked the Indian Navy for rescuing them. The Indian Navy on Friday, January 5, 2024 safely evacuated the hijacked vessel MV Lila Norfolk off Somalia’s coast.
In a video posted by the Navy, the crew members can be seen chanting “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and thanking the Indian Navy. One of the Indians who was rescued by the Indian Navy said, “We were stuck for 24 hours. We got relief after the Indian Navy came to rescue them.” Another man said, “Proud of the Indian Navy.”
The Indian Navy’s marine commandos rescued 21 crew members, including 15 Indians, from the hijacked Liberian-flagged vessel MV Lila Norfolk on January 6, 2024.The crew members were rescued in a swift operation in the North Arabian Sea after armed pirates attempted to hijack the vessel.
In a statement posted on X, the Indian Navy on Friday stated, “Indian Navy’s Swift Response to the Hijacking Attempt of MV Lila Norfolk in the North Arabian Sea. All 21 crew (incl 15 Indians) onboard safely evacuated from the citadel. Sanitisation by MARCOs has confirmed the absence of the hijackers.”
The attempt of hijacking by the pirates was probably abandoned with the forceful warning by the Indian Navy, MPA of interception by Indian Naval warship, the statement read. INS Chennai is in the vicinity of MV and rendering support to restore the power generation and propulsion, and commence her voyage to the next port of call.
Indian Navy’s elite Marine Commandos are still carrying out sanitisation operations in other parts of the vessel, the military officials earlier told ANI.
According to the officials, MARCOS did not find any pirates on the hijacked vessel. The rescued crew has informed that the pirates had fired at the ship during a hijack attempt after which they all hid themselves in the citadel. INS Chennai diverted from her Anti-Piracy patrol and intercepted the MV at 3:15 pm on Friday.
“MV was kept under continuous surveillance using Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Predator MQ9B and integral helos. The Indian Navy Marine Commandos present onboard the Mission Deployed warship boarded the MV and have commenced the Sanitisation,” the earlier statement from the Indian Navy stated.
In another development, Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar issued directives to the Indian warships operating in the Arabian Sea to take the “strictest possible action” against the pirates, defence officials said.
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.
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 a Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and diverted INS Chennai, deployed for maritime security operations, to assist the vessel.