Jaipur, January 7: Praising the Indian Navy for its 'daring operation' on the Arabian Sea to rescue a Liberian merchant ship, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the marine warriors trawled 2000 kms from the Indian coastline tp thwart the attempted hijack and brought all 21 crew members, including 15 Indians, from the vessel to safety.

Addressing the All India Conference of Director Generals and Inspector Generals of Police at Jaipur on Sunday, Prime Minister Modi said as soon as the Navy received a distress call from the vessel, the Marine Commandos swung into action. India Has Deployed Six Warships for Anti-Drone and Anti-Piracy Operations, More Assets To Be Sent, Says Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar (Watch Video).

PM Narendra Modi Hails Daring Rescue Operation

"Two days ago, the Indian Navy successfully accomplished a daring operation. As soon as a message was received from a merchant vessel, in the Arabian Sea, Indian Navy and Marine Commandos got active instantly," PM Modi said. "There were 21 people on board the ship, of which 15 were Indians. Our naval commandos sailed 2000 kms from the Indian coastline and rescued all of them," he added.

He recalled how, after being safely evacuated and rescued, the Indian crew on board the vessel chanted 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'. "You must have seen footage of the Indian crew members chanting 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' after being rescued from the hijacked ship," PM Modi said.

All 21 crew members on board the hijacked vessel, MV Lila Norfolk, which sailed from the Somalia coast, were brought to safer shores by the marine commandos on Friday. "Indian Navy's Swift Response to the Hijacking Attempt of MV Lila Norfolk in the North Arabian Sea. All 21 crew (incl 15 Indians) onboard safely evacuated from the citadel. Sanitisation by MARCOs has confirmed (the) absence of the hijackers," the Indian Navy said in a statement. Liberian-Flagged Vessel MV Lila Norfolk Reports Hijack, Indian Navy Ship Responds to SOS, Commandos Rescue Crew Members (Watch Video).

"The hijack attempt by the pirates was probably abandoned with the forceful warning by the Indian Navy, MPA of interception by Indian Naval warship, the statement read. INS Chennai is in the vicinity of MV and rendering support to restore the power generation and propulsion, and commence her voyage to next port of call.

According to the officials, MARCOS didn't found any pirates on the hijacked vessel. The rescued crew has informed that the pirates had fired at the ship during hijack attempt after which they all hid themselves in the citadel. INS Chennai diverted from her Anti-Piracy patrol and intercepted the MV at 3:15 pm on Friday.

"MV was kept under continuous surveillance using Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Predator MQ9B and integral helos. The Indian Navy Marine Commandos present onboard the Mission Deployed warship boarded the MV and have commenced the Sanitisation," the earlier statement from Indian Navy stated.

In another development, Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar issued directives to the Indian warships operating in the Arabian Sea to take the "strictest possible action" against the pirates, defence officials said.

Earlier, the Indian naval warship INS Chennai reached the hijacked vessel MV Lila Norfolk off Somalia coast and issued a warning to the pirates on board to abandon the vessel. Earlier, the officials had informed that the merchant vessel MV Lila Norfolk was hijacked by pirates 300 nautical miles east of Somalia, while it was sailing from Port Du Aco in Brazil and was bound for Khalifa Bin Salman in Bahrain.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 07, 2024 11:53 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).