Quickly diverting its Naval Maritime Patrol aircraft and a warship engaged in Anti-Piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Navy is at the forefront of efforts to locate and assist the hijacked Ruen.
As of December 15, the Indian Navy’s aircraft has flown over the captured vessel, diligently monitoring its movements as it heads towards the coast of Somalia.
In a statement, the Navy said, “Indian Navy’s warship and maritime patrol aircraft responded swiftly to a hijacking incident in the Arabian Sea involving the hijacking of Malta Flagged Vessel MV Ruen. Responding swiftly to the developing situation, Indian Navy diverted its Naval Maritime Patrol aircraft undertaking surveillance in the area and its warship on Anti Piracy patrol in the Gulf Aden to locate & assist MV Ruen. The aircraft overflew the hijacked vessel on early morning of 15 Dec 23 and IN aircraft have been continuously monitoring movement of the vessel, which is now heading towards the coast of Somalia.”
The naval warship, specifically deployed for anti-piracy patrol, successfully intercepted the MV Ruen in the early hours of December 16, 2023, the statement added.
This intervention by the Indian Navy adds a crucial chapter to the international efforts aimed at combatting piracy in the region.
Meanwhile, in the broader seas, a Spanish navy ship is racing towards a Maltese-flagged commercial vessel suspected of being hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia.
If confirmed, this would mark the first successful hijacking by Somali pirates since 2017 when international navies cracked down on piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
The European Union’s Somali counter-piracy force, EUNAVFOR, received an alert about the “alleged pirate-hijacked vessel” Ruen, located approximately 500 nautical miles east of Socotra Island, off Somalia.
While British maritime security company Ambrey believes the Ruen has been hijacked by pirates, the situation is evolving, and the Spanish warship Victoria has been dispatched to the scene for further assessment.
Simultaneously, in Somalia’s breakaway Puntland region, reports suggest that pirates may have successfully seized a vessel.
A member of a group involved in organizing past ship raids disclosed that “Six of my pirate friends managed to capture a ship and they will bring it to the coast of the eastern region of Puntland.” The international response is coordinated, with EUNAVFOR collaborating with the broader international naval Combined Maritime Force to address the piracy-related events unfolding in the northwest Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.
(With inputs from agencies)