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— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

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Indian Navy's Swift Response to the Hijacking Attempt of MV Lila Norfolk in the North Arabian Sea

January 5, 2024 Photo(s): By PIB

Indian Navy swiftly responded to the hijacking incident onboard Liberian flagged Bulk Carrier MV Lila Norfolk deploying considerable strength of assets (both ships and aircraft) and an aggressive intent to counter attack by pirates.

INS Chennai guided missile destroyer arrived at the scene of action by 1515h. Continuous aerial recce of MV Lila Norfolk was undertaken by MQ-9B (SeaGuardian), P8-I and integral helicopters. Subsequently, the Indian Navy Marine Commandos boarded MV Lila Norfolk and undertook thorough sanitisation of the upper decks, machinery compartments and living spaces. The team did not find any pirates onboard. Forceful warnings by the Indian Naval aircraft to the vessel and likely Interception by IN warship, probably compelled the pirates to escape during the night hours.

All 21 crew of MV Lila Norfolk have been rescued and are safe. Indian Naval forces are investigating the suspected vessels in the area. Presently, the crew of MV is engaged in restoring propulsion, power supply and steering gear. Thereafter, MV Lila Norfolk will recommence her passage to her destination under escort of the Indian Naval Warship.