Three vessels and crew freed following Somali pirate hijackings

The Indian navy rescued two Iranian-flagged fishing vessels that had been hijacked by Somali pirates in one day and taken the crew hostage.

The INS Sumitra vessel rescued 17 crew members aboard the Iranian-flagged fishing vessel (FV) Iman early on Monday before responding to another distress call to free 19 Pakistani nationals on another fishing vessel, the navy said in a statement.

The navy in an operation along East coast of Somalia and Gulf of Aden responded on Monday to a distress message regarding hijacking of an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel (FV) Iman. The FV had been boarded by pirates and the crew taken as hostages.

Sumitra intercepted the vessel and ensured successful release of all 17 crew members along with the boat.

INS Sumitra, over the course of less than 36 hours, carried out a second operation rescuing the Iranian-flagged fishing vessel Al Naeemi and its crew -19 Pakistani nationals- from 11 Somali pirates, in Southern Arabian Sea approximately 850 nm West of Kochi.

Seychelles forces separately rescued a fishing vessel hijacked by Somali pirates and freed its crew members.

The Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) with the Seychelles Coast Guard led an operation to regain control of a Sri Lankan fishing vessel abducted by armed Somali pirates, State House said on Monday, as Seychelles news agency reports.

According to the SDF, they were alerted by Sri Lanka of the hijacking and deployed a rescue mission by patrol ship Topaz.

The pirates appear to be taking advantage of instability around the Red Sea, where Yemen´s Houthis have targeted civilian ships.

The Houthis’ attacks have prompted retaliatory air strikes by countries including the United States and Britain, and analysts say they have diverted attention from the Somali piracy threat.