|Indian Coast Guard Dornier|
Pirates closing in on a merchant vessel off the Lakshadweep were thwarted by the Indian Coast Guard Friday with its patrol aircraft chasing the sea brigands away through a timely intervention.
The Bahamas-flagged container carrier, MV CMA CGM Berd (E1 note: ?), was sailing west of the Lakshadweep Islands when the Coast Guard's Dornier on a surveillance sortie noticed two skiffs in its vicinity around 10.30 a.m, a Navy official said.
Soon, the aircraft descended to pass over the merchant vessel to check on the suspicious activity.
Arrow points to Lakshadweep Islands
Noticing the Coast Guard aircraft, the pirates abandoned their plans to attack the merchant vessel and quickly sailed away from there, the navy spokesperson said in a press release.
The patrol aircraft crew also sighted the mother-vessel of the pirates identified as merchant ship Prantalay, in the vicinity.
Prantalay, pirate mother ship (NATO photos)
The navy and the Coast Guard rushed their ships to the location to keep a continuous watch on the movements of Prantalay, the spokesperson said.
'Because of the timely arrival of the aircraft, the merchant vessel is now safe and is heading for its next port of call in East Asia,' he added.