Pirate Hijacking: Global Navies Rally to Save Maltese Flagged MV Ruen

Pirate Hijacking: Global Navies Rally to Save Maltese Flagged MV Ruen

hijacking of maltese flagged vessel mv ruen

In a significant development in international maritime security, the Spanish and Indian navies have undertaken a coordinated response to what is believed to be the first successful hijacking by Somali pirates since 2017. The incident, involving the Malta-flagged commercial vessel MV Ruen, was first reported by the European Union’s Somali counter-piracy force and later confirmed by both Spanish and Indian naval authorities.

The Hijacking Incident: A Detailed Overview

On Thursday, the EUNAVFOR’s joint operations center in Spain received an alert about the MV Ruen, located approximately 500 nautical miles east of Socotra Island, off Somalia. This alert was triggered following reports from Somalia’s breakaway Puntland region, suggesting that pirates may have successfully seized the vessel.

The Spanish warship Victoria was immediately dispatched to the area to assess the situation. Simultaneously, the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) received additional information from the vessel’s security officer, indicating that the crew had lost control and the ship was heading towards Somalia. The British maritime security company Ambrey also corroborated these reports, believing the Ruen to have been hijacked.

Indian Navy’s Prompt Response

Parallelly, the Indian Navy played a crucial role in responding to the hijacking. Upon receiving the alert, an Indian Navy aircraft overflew the hijacked vessel on December 15 and continuously monitored its movement. The Indian Navy, which had a warship on anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden, immediately diverted its assets to locate and assist MV Ruen.

The Indian Navy’s maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) and the warship intercepted MV Ruen in the early hours of December 16, reinforcing the international effort to counter the piracy threat.

Coordinated International Effort

This incident marks a significant collaboration among international naval forces in the northwest Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. EUNAVFOR continues to play a pivotal role in coordinating these efforts, working closely with the Combined Maritime Force and other agencies. The overall situation is being closely monitored, with updates and directives being issued as the scenario unfolds.

Revival of Somali Pirate Activity?

This event raises concerns about the resurgence of Somali pirate activity, which had seen a decline following a multinational effort by international navies. The last successful hijacking attributed to Somali pirates occurred in 2017, and since then, there has been a substantial reduction in such incidents due to increased maritime security and naval patrols in the region.

Related: Large Container Ship Al Jasrah Ablaze After Being Struck by Projectile from Houthis in the Red Sea

Looking Forward

As the MV Ruen incident develops, it serves as a reminder of the persistent threat posed by piracy in key maritime routes. The swift and coordinated response by the Spanish and Indian navies underscores the importance of international cooperation in maintaining maritime security and safeguarding commercial shipping interests.

This ongoing situation highlights the need for continued vigilance and the effective deployment of naval resources in piracy-prone areas. The international community remains watchful, and further reports are expected as the situation regarding the MV Ruen evolves.

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