New Delhi, January 29: An Indian naval warship deployed along the east coast of Somalia responded to a distress call regarding hijacking of an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel after it was boarded by some pirates. Navy officials on Monday said that the swift response by the Indian Navy's mission deployed warship INS Sumitra ensured the safe release of the hijacked vessel and its crew.

"INS Sumitra, on anti-piracy operations along the East Coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden, responded to a distress message regarding hijacking of an Iranian-flagged Fishing Vessel Iman. The vessel had been boarded by pirates and the crew was taken as hostages," Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said. Indian Navy Foils Piracy Bid: INS Sumitra Safely Rescues Iran Fishing Vessel Iman From Somali Pirates

INS Sumitra intercepted the vessel and acted in accordance with the established SOPs to coerce the pirates for safe release of the crew along with the boat, he said. It ensured the successful release of all 17 crew members and the boat, the spokesperson said. Indian Navy Foils Piracy Bid: INS Sumitra Carries Out Rescue Operation on MV Iman Highjacked by Somali Pirates in Arabian Sea

The vessel was subsequently sanitised and released for onward transit. "Mission deployed Indian naval ships on anti-piracy and maritime security operations in the Indian Ocean region symbolises the Indian Navy's resolve towards safety of all vessels and seafarers at sea," Madhwal said.