Somalia Piracy Resurfaces: Indian Crew Aboard Hijacked Ship; INS Chennai Dispatched by Navy, Assures Safety of 15 Members

Piracy Alert: Indian Crew on Hijacked Ship Near Somali Coast

Another ship has fallen victim to piracy in the Arabian Sea near the coast of Somalia, with more than 15 Indian crew members aboard. The hijacked vessel, flying the Liberian flag, is identified as the MV Leela Norfolk. The Indian Navy has confirmed its awareness of the situation and is in immediate contact with the crew members on board. In response to the security threat, INS Chennai has been deployed towards the ship to ensure its safety.

As per maritime reports, the ship was heading from Porto do Açu in Brazil to Khalifa Bin Salman Port when it went off the radar on January 11. The last contact with the vessel was reported on December 30, according to VesselFinder.

INS Chennai, a naval warship, has been actively monitoring the situation, and naval aircraft have been deployed for continuous surveillance. The Indian Navy received information about the hijacking through a message on the Maritime Trade Operations (MTO) portal. It is reported that around 5-6 individuals armed with weapons boarded the ship around 4 January.

The Navy stated that upon receiving information about the hijacking, a maritime patrol aircraft was sent towards the ship. The aircraft reached the location of the vessel, and contact was established with the crew members. All individuals on board are reported to be safe. Naval aircraft INS Chennai is maintaining continuous surveillance on the location of the vessel.

Increased Pirate Activity: Another Ship Hijacked Near Somalia

In recent days, incidents of piracy and attacks on vessels in the Arabian and Red Seas have been on the rise. On December 14, Chanchiya pirates hijacked a ship near Malta. The attempt to hijack the ship was thwarted, but details about the incident and the parties involved are not yet disclosed. This incident follows a series of piracy events in the region.

On December 14, Chanchiya pirates successfully hijacked a vessel from Malta. Subsequently, the naval forces launched a rescue mission in the Gulf of Aden to aid the MV Rujeen, which had been hijacked. Six individuals had boarded the vessel during the hijack. The Indian Navy actively monitored the situation and rescued one sailor who was seriously injured.

The hijacked vessel was tracked, and a naval warship was dispatched to assist MV Rujeen. The vessel was eventually released, and it made its way to Oman for further assistance. The injured sailor received medical attention, and the vessel’s operations were under scrutiny during its passage. The maritime executive reported that the hijacked ship was heading towards Turkey from Korea. Subsequently, Somali pirates attacked the ship.

The situation remains fluid, and maritime authorities are closely monitoring developments in the region. The increasing incidents of piracy in these waters pose a significant threat to maritime security and necessitate ongoing vigilance from naval forces.

Houthi Rebels Hijack Indian Cargo Ship Bound for Israel

In a recent incident on November 19, Houthi rebels hijacked the cargo ship Galaxy Leader in the Red Sea. The vessel was en route from Turkey to India. The rebels, identifying themselves as Houthi militants, claimed responsibility for the hijacking. The ship had 25 Indian crew members on board.

Earlier, on December 14, Houthi rebels attempted to hijack another vessel, the MV Rujeen, in the Red Sea. The ship was carrying cargo from Malta to India. The attempt was thwarted, and the Indian Navy successfully rescued one sailor who sustained serious injuries during the incident.

The Houthi rebels’ actions have drawn condemnation from Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holding Iran accountable for the attempted hijacking. Netanyahu stated that this act of terrorism by Iran against an international ship would have repercussions not only for Israel but for global shipping lines as well. The international community is closely monitoring the situation and assessing the potential impact on maritime security.

Somalia: Rise of Piracy After 1990s

Somalia, known for its rich fisheries in the Indian Ocean, experienced a significant increase in piracy post-1990s. Until then, the country heavily depended on its thriving fishing industry. Large sections of the population were engaged in fishery-related activities, and local fishermen operated without fear in their own waters.

However, with the onset of civil unrest and the collapse of the Somali government in the 1990s, the situation changed dramatically. The absence of a functioning government and navy left a void that foreign companies exploited. Foreign trawlers, especially from European nations, took advantage of the lawlessness and overfished Somali waters, depriving local fishermen of their livelihoods.

Somali locals, feeling marginalized and desperate, turned to piracy as a means of survival. Traditional small-scale fishermen, now struggling to compete with large foreign trawlers, became armed pirates attacking commercial vessels passing through the region. This transition marked the beginning of maritime piracy in the waters off the coast of Somalia.

Pirates initially focused on hijacking vessels for ransom, targeting ships passing through the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. The lack of international maritime patrols in the region allowed piracy to thrive. The pirates often operated from small skiffs, armed with weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles.

Over time, piracy off the coast of Somalia escalated, attracting global attention. International naval forces, including those from NATO and the European Union, initiated anti-piracy patrols to safeguard shipping lanes and combat maritime crime. The problem led to the establishment of multinational task forces dedicated to countering piracy in the region.

Despite international efforts, the roots of piracy in Somalia are complex, involving issues such as poverty, illegal fishing, and the absence of a stable government. While anti-piracy measures have significantly reduced incidents in recent years, the underlying challenges facing Somalia require broader solutions to ensure lasting stability in the region.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.