In the second major anti-piracy operation off Lakshadweep in 10 days, the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard today apprehended 52 men including 28 suspected Somali pirates on board a ship after a brief gun-battle near the islands.
Arrow points to Lakshadweep Islands
The forces foiled a pirate plan to attack a Greek-flagged merchant ship and apprehended Prantalay-11, the sister vessel of fishing trawler Prantalay-14 that was also being used as the mother ship by the sea brigands and was sunk by the Navy in the Arabian Sea earlier.
"Naval ship INS Tir and Coast Guard ship ICGS Samar intercepted the pirates' mother ship Prantalay-11 within Indian waters after a gun-battle and forced the brigands to surrender. A total of 52 men have been apprehended of which 28 are suspected to be Somali pirates," Navy spokesperson Captain M Nambiar said.
Officials said the operation had started last evening when the Navy learnt that MV Chios was being attacked by two pirate skiffs some 100 kms off the Kavaratti island.
After receiving the input, Navy's western command here directed the INS Tir and the ICGS Samar, who are already deployed in the region for anti-piracy operations, to rush to the site and apprehend the pirates and their mother ship, they said.
"After locating the skiffs, the two ships asked the pirates to surrender but they fired back at us and fled to their mother ship. After the two ships tracked the mother vessel, they were fired upon again by the pirates," they said.
"The Tir and the Samar returned fire briefly after which the pirates raised white flags to surrender," they said.
The pirates and the crew of the Prantalay 11 have now been brought to Mumbai for interrogation by police and intelligence agencies.
NATO Photo of Prantalay 11/14
UPDATE: It gets better:
‘Stupid’ pirates caught after targeting coast guard ship by mistake:
A stereotypical depiction of a pirate would be incomplete without the trademark black eyepatch.Well, not "stupid" perhaps, but certainly much mistaken . ..
The Somali pirates who were arrested by the Coast Guard on Sunday might well have been wearing two.
The Coast Guard nabbed 28 pirates off the Lakshadweep coast in an operation that lasted more than 14 hours.
Their task was made much easier than they expected, after the pirates they were hunting down mistook the Coast Guard vessel on anti-piracy patrol for a merchant vessel and attacked it.
The pirates, riding high-speed skiffs, started firing at the Coast Guard believing it to be a potential target, but were neutralised by a joint team of Indian Navy and Coast Guard after high drama. They are now being brought to Mumbai to be formally arrested.