Video: Indian Navy Boards Hijacked MV Lila Norfolk, Saves Crew

Video: Indian Navy Boards Hijacked MV Lila Norfolk, Saves Crew

indian navy hijacking mv lila norfolk

In a daring and swift operation, the Indian Navy successfully rescued 21 crew members of the cargo ship ‘MV Lila Norfolk’, following a hijacking attempt near the coast of Somalia. The Navy’s quick deployment of its assets, including a warship, maritime patrol aircraft, helicopters, and Predator MQ9B drones, was crucial in this high-stakes mission.

The Distress Call and Rapid Response

The situation unfolded on Friday evening when the Indian Navy received an SOS call from the 84,000-tonne bulk carrier. The distress signal indicated that five or six armed individuals had boarded the ship. The crew, comprising 15 Indians among others, was under imminent threat.

Elite MARCOS Commandos in Action

Responding with precision, Indian Navy’s elite MARCOS commandos were deployed on the MV Lila Norfolk to conduct a thorough search and rescue operation. Their exhaustive sanitization of the vessel confirmed the absence of any hijackers, signifying the pirates likely abandoned their attempt due to the Navy’s prompt and forceful intervention.

Indian Navy’s Statement and Public Outreach

In an official statement, the Indian Navy described how the hijacking attempt was probably deterred by their rapid response. Additionally, the Navy utilized X to share gripping videos of the operation, showcasing the commandos in action on the high seas.

Gratitude from the Ship’s Owners

Steve Kunzer, CEO of Lila Global, the Dubai-based company owning the vessel, expressed profound gratitude to the Indian Navy. He also commended the professionalism of the ship’s crew for their safe and responsible reaction under the circumstances.

Broader Maritime Security Concerns

This incident comes amid escalating concerns over increased attacks on merchant vessels in the Red Sea, particularly in the context of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. In light of these threats, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar has issued directives for firm action against such maritime security incidents.

Recent Attacks in Maritime Regions

Highlighting the growing maritime threats, the Liberian-flagged vessel MV Chem Pluto, with 21 Indian crew members, was targeted in a drone attack off India’s west coast on December 23. Similarly, another commercial oil tanker en route to India faced a suspected drone strike in the Southern Red Sea the same day, with 25 Indian crew members on board.

The successful intervention by the Indian Navy in rescuing the crew of MV Lila Norfolk underlines the critical importance of maritime security in today’s geopolitically volatile environment. It also showcases the readiness and capability of national naval forces in responding to piracy and other maritime threats, ensuring the safety of international shipping lanes and crew members.

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