NEW DELHI -- The Indian Navy on Sunday assisted the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in sanitising a ship hijacked in the Gulf of Aden.
According to sources in the Indian Navy, INS Tarkash and INS Mumbai assisted the Chinese PLA in rescuing the bulk carrier.
The Indian Navy provided communication and air support to the PLA's naval division which entered the ship to sanitise it. The ship has been declared safe, sources in the Indian Navy said.
The Tuvalu-flagged bulk carrier (OS 35) was travelling from Kelang in Malaysia to Aden when it was attacked.
Immediately after receiving an SOS from the vessel, the Indian Navy diverted two of its warships, INS Mumbai and INS Tarkash, in the direction of the bulk carrier.
"A distress call was received from a foreign merchant vessel MV OS 35 (Tuvalu registered vessel), which was attacked and boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Aden late night on 8 April. Indian Navy ships Mumbai, Tarkash, Trishul and Aditya proceeding on deployment to the Mediterranean and passing through the Gulf of Aden, responded to the call and rapidly closed the merchant vessel by the early hours of 9 April," the Indian Navy said in a statement.
"The Indian warships established contact with the Captain of the merchant vessel, who along with the crew had locked themselves in a strong room on board, as per standard operating procedure," the statement added.
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