The Indian Navy has deployed a warship and a maritime patrol aircraft in the Arabian Sea following the hijacking of a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier with 21 crew members, including 15 Indians.

The bulk carrier MV Lila Norfolk sent a message on the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) portal indicating that five to six unknown armed personnel boarded the vessel on Thursday evening, the Indian Navy said.

As it is reported all 21 crew members onboard safely evacuated from the citadel.

INS Chennai warship is in the vicinity of the vessel and rendering support to restore the power generation and propulsion, and commence her voyage to next port of call.

“Sanitisation by MARCOs has confirmed absence of the hijackers. The attempt of hijacking by the pirates was probably abandoned with the forceful warning by the Indian navy MPA of interception by Indian naval warship,” the Navy said.

As it is said the overall situation is being “closely monitored” in coordination with other maritime agencies in the region.

The Navy said it responded swiftly to the “developing situation” and deployed a maritime patrol aircraft and diverted frontline warship INS Chennai for the security of MV Lila Norfolk.

The aircraft overflew the vessel on early morning of January 5, 24 and established contact with the vessel, ascertaining the safety of the crew.

“Naval aircraft continues to monitor movement and INS Chennai is closing the vessel to render assistance,” the Navy added.