Preliminary probe of tanker Chem Pluto reveals drone attack

The Liberian-flagged chemical oil tanker Chem Pluto, carrying 21 Indian and 1 Vietnamese crew, earlier reported as attacked by suspected drone on December 23, reached Mumbai and anchored safely at Outer Anchorage off Mumbai on Monday.

On her arrival, the Indian navy explosive ordnance disposal team inspected the vessel to make a preliminary assessment of the type and nature of attack.

Analysis of the area of attack and debris found on the ship points towards a drone attack.

However, further forensic and technical analysis will be required to establish the vector of attack, including type and amount of explosive used, a navy statement said.

A joint investigation by various agencies has commenced on completion of the analysis by the Navy’s explosive ordnance team.

The ship has been cleared for further operation by her company-in-charge at Mumbai.

The ship is scheduled to undergo mandatory checks by the various inspecting authorities before undertaking ship to ship (STS) transfer of cargo.

This is likely to be followed by docking and repairs of the damaged portion of Chem Pluto.

“Considering the recent spate of attacks in the Arabian Sea, Indian Navy has deployed Guided Missile Destroyers, INS Mormugao, INS Kochi and INS Kolkata (Guided Missile Destroyers) in various areas to maintain a deterrent presence,” the navy statement added.