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— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

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My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.

— Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Indian Air Force Chief

Piracy attack on MV Ruen in Central Arabian Sea

December 21, 2023 Photo(s): By PIB

On the night of December 14, 2023, a report regarding potential piracy incident onboard Malta flagged vessel, MV Ruen, was monitored on UKMTO portal. The vessel was reported to be boarded by six unknown personnel.

In a swift response, Indian Navy's Maritime Patrol Aircraft deployed to investigate the incident arrived overhead MV Ruen AM December 15, 2023 and established communication with the crew. All 18 crew (no Indians onboard the MV) were reported to be safe in the citadel. Concurrently, in response to the incident, INS Kochi on Anti Piracy Patrol in the Gulf of Aden was also diverted immediately to render assistance.

INS Kochi intercepted MV Ruen in the early hours on December 16, 2023 and launched its integral helicopter to assess the situation. It was ascertained from the crew that the citadel onboard MV Ruen had been breached and all crew members were held hostage by the pirates. One of the crew member had also sustained injuries, but was reported to be stable. Whilst no armed intervention was undertaken to ensure crew safety onboard the hijacked MV, requisite actions were taken by the warship towards ensuring suitable treatment of the crew by the pirates. A Japanese warship also arrived in the area on December 16, 2023 and was relieved by the Spanish warship ESPNS Victoria, later in the day. IN ship maintained in close vicinity of hijacked vessel during its transit towards Somalia from December 16-17, 2023, suitably engaging with the pirates and coordinating actions with the other warships.

The hijacked vessel entered territorial waters of Somalia (off Bosaso) PM December 17, 2023. INS Kochi was successful in ensuring that the injured crew member was released by pirates in the early hours of December 18, 2023 for further medical management. The injured crew member was medically attended to onboard the IN ship but due to urgent medical attention required, which was beyond the scope of the ship, he was transferred ashore at Oman on December 19, 2023.

In the light of above incident and towards augmenting the anti-Piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden region, the Indian Navy has deployed another indigenous guided missile destroyer in the region. The Indian Navy remains committed to ensuring safety of merchant shipping and rendering assistance to the mariners at sea, as a 'first responder' in the region.