WATCH: First visuals of Indian Navy's MARCOs daring rescue op onboard hijacked vessel MV Lila Norfolk
Elite marine commandos of the Indian Navy successfully rescued 21 crew members, including 15 Indians, from a bulk carrier in the North Arabian Sea on Friday. The swift operation was in response to an attempted hijacking of the Liberian-flagged vessel by approximately five to six armed individuals.
New Delhi: Indian Navy’s marine commandos (MARCOs) on Friday successfully evacuated all 21 crew members of Liberia-flagged merchant vessel Lila Norfolk’s citadel, which the pirates had attempted to hijack in the North Arabian Sea, on Friday.
Acting swiftly on the information from the United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations (UKMTO) portal, the Indian Navy diverted its mission deployment platforms like destroyer INS Chennai, Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Predator MQ9B and integral helos.
The MQ-9B drones are designed for extended flights of up to 40 hours at altitudes exceeding 40,000 feet, making them ideal for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
The MA9B is fitted with air-to-ground hellfire missiles and smart bombs for targeted attacks.
At 1515 hours on Friday, INS Chennai intercepted the merchant vessel while the maritime patrol aircraft, MQ9B and integral helos kept continuous surveillance of the vessel.
After onboarding the vessel, the Indian Navy marine commandos commenced the sanitisation process.
Indian Navy PRO Commander Vivek Madhwal said that the 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,” he said.
He also added that INS Chennai is in the vicinity of the vessel and rendering support to restore the power generation and propulsion and commence her voyage to the next port of call.