In a recent incident in the Arabian Sea, a Liberia-flagged ship named MV Lila Norfolk faced a hijacking attempt. This ship had around 15 Indian crew members. Late on January 4, the ship reported that 5 to 6 armed people had boarded it. This message was sent via a maritime safety portal called the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).
Reacting quickly, the Indian Navy sent out a maritime patrol aircraft and directed its warship, INS Chennai, which was on a security mission nearby to help the ship.
The Navy’s P8I maritime patrol aircraft flew over the ship. The aircraft made contact with the crew and confirmed they were safe. The aircraft stayed in the area to keep an eye on things, and INS Chennai was on its way to offer more help. The Navy, working with other groups and international forces, is keeping a close watch on the situation.
The Indian Navy emphasized its commitment to protecting merchant ships in the area, working with international partners and friendly countries.
This hijacking attempt is part of a series of recent attacks on merchant ships in important sea routes like the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Arabian Sea.
These attacks are a concern for India, especially with Houthi rebels, supported by Iran, targeting ships in the Red Sea. The Navy has responded by deploying P-8I patrol aircraft and warships like INS Mormugao, INS Kochi, and INS Kolkata in the region for protection and surveillance.
These attacks have affected global trade routes. Ships that usually pass through the Red Sea, carrying things like oil, natural gas, grain, and various consumer goods, are now taking longer routes to avoid danger. Major shipping companies and oil firms like BP are changing their paths to bypass these risky areas.