January 19, 2024
NEW DELHI – The Indian Navy on Thursday said that it responded to a drone attack on merchant vessel MV Genco Picardy with 22 crew members, including nine Indians, in the Gulf of Aden.
The Indian Navy’s Mission Deployed Guided Missile Destroyer INS Visakhapatnam, which was deployed in the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy operations, swiftly responded to the distress call by Marshal Island-flagged vessel.
The vessel was hit by a drone attack at 2311 hours on Wednesday. Following the attack, the vessel sent a distress signal and Navy responded swiftly.
“INS Visakhapatnam, undertaking anti piracy patrol in Gulf of Aden, acknowledged the distress call and intercepted the vessels at 0030 hrs on 18 Jan 24 in order to provide assistance,” the Navy said.
The Navy further said that the MV Genco Picardy with 22 crew, including nine Indians reported no casualties and fire caused by the drone attack was under control.
“Indian Naval EOD specialists from INS Visakhapatnam boarded the vessel in the early hours of 18 Jan 24 to inspect the damaged area. EOD specialists, after a thorough inspection, have rendered the area safe for further transit. The vessel is proceeding to the next port of call,” it said.
Earlier this month, Indian Naval comandos from elite force MARCOs rescued 22 crew members, including 15 Indians from a hijacked vessel.
Five to six pirates had reportedly boarded the Liberian-flagged merchant vessel MV Lila Norfolk off Somalia coast in an attempt to hijack it.
After recieving the distress call, the Indian Navy diverted a warship, maritime patrolling aircraft, helicopters and drones for the surveillance until commandos boarded the vessel.