In a decisive strike,the Indian Navy has sunk a pirate mother vessel operating near the Lakshadweep Islands and captured 15 Somali pirates,besides rescuing 20 Thai and Myanmar nationals who had been taken hostage.
The INS Cankarso,a newly commissioned Water Jet Fast Attack Craft,sunk the pirate vessel barely 100 nautical miles north of the Minicoy island on Friday evening after it came under fire.
As reported earlier,the Prantalay a hijacked Thai trawler that was being used as a mother vessel to carry out attacks was being tracked by a joint team of the Navy and Coast Guard after it made a piracy attempt off the island chain Friday morning.
The Indian warship that was dispatched to investigate the vessel came under fire from the pirates,forcing it to retaliate. INS Cankarso made all efforts to establish communication with the vessel but it did not respond and tried to speed away. A warning shot was fired,well ahead of the bows of the Prantalay,to compel her to stop. But the pirate vessel suddenly opened fire on INS Cankarso, a Navy officer said.
The Navy vessel returned fire in self-defence,causing the pirate vessel to catch fire. We recovered 20 fishermen of Thai and Myanmarese nationality. These were the original crew of the fishing vessel and had been held hostage for months, the officer said.