NEW DELHI, Jan 30 (KUNA) -- Indian naval forces have recently aborted pirates' bids to seize two Iranian-flagged sea vessels cruising off Somalia's shores, the Ministry of Defense revealed in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement said Indian Navy's offshore patrol vessel INS Sumitra carried out two successful anti-piracy operations, rescued two fishing vessels and 36 crews from Somali pirates.
Sumitra thwarted a piracy attempt on the Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, Iman, and another one, named Al Naeem,i off the East Coast of Somalia.
It stated, "The warship on 28 January had responded to a distress message regarding hijacking of an Iranian flagged fishing vessel Iman, which had been boarded by pirates and the crew taken as hostages.
"The vessel was intercepted by INS Sumitra and following the SOPs and coercive posturing the vessel and her crew (17 Iranian nationals) were safely rescued in the early hours of 29 January."
Later, another Iranian flagged fishing vessel, Al Naeemi, was rescued and the crew members released as INS Sumitra located and intercepted the vessel after pirates boarded it and took crew members comprising of 19 Pakistani nationals as hostage.
"Responding swiftly to the developing situation Sumitra intercepted the fishing vessel on 29 January and through coercive posturing and effective deployment of her integral hello and boats compelled the safe release of the crew and the vessel," the statement said. The personnel also boarded the vessel to sanitize and check on the well-being of the crew.
"INS Sumitra, over the course of less than 36 hours, through swift, persistent and relentless efforts has rescued two hijacked fishing vessels along with 36 crew (17 Iranian and 19 Pakistani) in Southern Arabian Sea approximately 850 nautical miles (some 1,500 kilometers) West of Kochi," the statement said.
Kochi (also known as Cochin) is a port city in southwest India's coastal Kerala state.
India asserted its commitment to act against all maritime threats and ensure safety of all mariners and vessels at sea. (end)