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Indian Navy's heroic response in Gulf of Aden garners global applause, China's inaction criticised

On Saturday, the Indian warship INS Visakhapatnam successfully put out a fire on a commercial oil tanker carrying 22 Indian crew members. The tanker had been hit by a missile in the Gulf of Aden, a crucial shipping route that has experienced a series of similar attacks in recent weeks.

Indian Navy's heroic response in Gulf of Aden garners global applause, China's inaction criticised snt
First Published Jan 28, 2024, 10:39 AM IST

In a recent display of maritime valour, the Indian Navy has earned widespread acclaim for its swift and effective response to a distress call from the Gulf of Aden. Amid escalating tensions and security concerns in the region, India's proactive measures have underscored its emergence as a global maritime powerhouse, while drawing sharp criticism towards China's perceived inaction.

The incident, which unfolded in the treacherous waters of the Gulf of Aden, saw the Indian Navy's warship INS Visakhapatnam spring into action after the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel MV Marlin Luanda fell victim to an anti-ship ballistic missile attack by Iran-backed Houthi militants. With 22 Indian crew members onboard, the vessel faced imminent peril as flames engulfed its hull, prompting a desperate call for assistance.

Also read: Indian Navy helps Marlin Launda, the merchant ship that was attacked using missile in Gulf of Aden (PHOTOS)

In a remarkable display of seamanship and solidarity, INS Visakhapatnam swiftly mobilised its firefighting teams and specialist equipment to battle the inferno raging aboard MV Marlin Luanda. Despite the challenging conditions and the looming threat of further attacks, the Indian Navy's personnel demonstrated unwavering resolve and skill in bringing the blaze under control, ensuring the safety of all crew members.

Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said, "Responding to the distress call from MV Marlin Luanda, INS Visakhapatnam had proceeded to provide assistance. A US and French warship also responded to the distress call. After six hours of battling the fire along with the crew of MV Marlin Luanda, the Indian Naval fire fighting team has successfully brought the fire under control."

"Indian Navy remains steadfast in her commitment towards safety of merchant shipping and seafarers," he asserted.

The valourous response of the Indian Navy has not gone unnoticed on the global stage. Admirers and observers alike have hailed India's decisive action in containing the crisis and safeguarding maritime security in one of the world's most vital sea lanes. The prompt deployment of resources and the successful mitigation of the threat have reaffirmed India's commitment to upholding the safety and stability of international waters.

Also read: 'We had lost hope...' Missile-struck ship's captain thanks Indian Navy for help; US hails joint teamwork

Conversely, the conspicuous absence of similar initiatives from China, despite its strategic presence in the region, has invited scathing rebuke and condemnation. While India has assumed a proactive role in addressing security challenges and ensuring the safe passage of commercial vessels, China's reluctance to actively engage in maritime security operations has raised serious concerns and drawn sharp criticism from the international community.

"Among the emerging great powers fascinating to see how India has risen to the crisis in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea... China not so much," said noted British journalist and historian Mark Urban.

Another historian Martin Sauerbrey wrote on X, "India takes over. Superpower rising... Stop drooling over China."

"India’s Navy helped extinguish and secure British oil tanker carrying Russian oil product Marlin Luanda in the Gulf of Aden," said UAE's Hassan Sajwani

Defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra added, "India has been providing security to shipping in the Arabian Sea - while China which has a base in Djibouti is not."

The contrasting responses of India and China to the crisis in the Gulf of Aden serve as a stark reminder of the evolving dynamics of global power projection and maritime security. As India emerges as a steadfast guardian of maritime interests and a beacon of stability in the tumultuous waters of the Gulf of Aden, China's passive stance threatens to undermine regional security and stability, casting doubt on its commitment to upholding the rules-based order in international waters.

In light of these developments, the world looks to India as a reliable partner and a responsible stakeholder in the maintenance of global maritime security. The Indian Navy's unwavering dedication to duty and its exemplary performance in crisis management stand as a testament to the nation's growing prowess and influence on the world stage.

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