INS Sharda, an offshore patrol vessel of the Indian Navy, on Wednesday, foiled a piracy attempt on bulk carrier MV Lord Mountbatten in Gulf of Aden. According to a media statement released by the Navy, at 16.54 hour, INS Sharda received a distress call from MV Lord Mountbatten in position 230 NM (nautical miles) south-west of Salalah. The vessel had reported an incident of attempted piracy by two suspicious mother vessels along with 7-8 skiffs. Sharda which was at that time 30 NM east of the reported position immediately responded to the distress call and proceeded at best speed to investigate the incident.
On arriving in the area by about 1900 hours, Sharda detected to dhows along with eight skiffs in the vicinity, three of which fled the area at high speed on sighting the warship. Indian Navy’s Marco’s boarding team, with the 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 slashed remaining five skiffs indicated malicious intent and possible piracy-linked intentions. One high calibre AKM rifle along with one filled magazine was found hidden on board one of the dhows. The weapon and ammunition have been confiscated to prevent future illegal misuse.