In a major development, the Indian Navy on Sunday said it averted an incident involving an attack on Panama-flagged crude oil tanker MV Andromeda Star PM on April 26. According to the statement released by the Indian Navy Spokesperson, INS Kochi responded to a distress call, adding the vessel was intercepted by an Indian Navy warship and an aerial recce by helo was undertaken to assess the situation. A total of 30 crew, including 22 Indian nationals, were reported to be safe.

As per the Navy, the vessel is continuing its scheduled transit to the next port. "The swift action of Indian Navy ship reiterates the commitment & resolve of the Navy in safeguarding the seafarers plying through the region," it said.

Indian Navy Turns Saviour

It is worth mentioning that cargo vessels have been subject to attack ever since Israel and Hamas were entangled in the war in October last year. This prompted several sea traders to look into alternatives to the Red Sea or abandon their business projects. However, some of them are still continuing the same routes.

The latest attack came amid a series of hijack attempts made by Somali Pirates in response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Earlier last month, a crew comprising 23 Pakistani nationals were rescued by the Indian Navy.

Similarly, in March, the navy carried out a rescue operation on a merchant vessel hijacked by Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea, rescuing 17 crew members, including seven Bulgarian nationals. The rescue operation was lauded by the Bulgarian President who expressed gratitude to the Indian Navy for successfully carrying out a rescue operation.

Earlier on March 4, Monday, the Indian Navy swiftly responded to a drone strike on a Liberian-flagged commercial vessel in the Gulf of Aden. According to reports, the vessel, transiting about 90 nautical miles southeast of Aden, reported a fire resulting from a drone or missile attack. The Indian Navy's INS Kolkata, engaged in maritime security operations in the region, promptly arrived at the scene of the incident at 2230 hours.

"INS Kolkata, mission deployed in the region for maritime security operations, promptly responded and arrived at the scene of the incident by 10.30 pm," the Navy statement read.

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