The Indian Navy has seized two suspected pirate vessels and detained 12 Somalis and 11 Yemenis suspected of pirate activities.
INS Mysore is currently in the Gulf of Aden for Anti-Piracy Patrol Operations which are being conducted under the control of the Western Naval Command. Whilst escorting merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden, the ship received a distress call on MMB Channel 16 from MV Gibe (Ethiopian Flag) at about 1100 hours on 13 Dec 08. MV Gibe reported that she was under attack by two boats closing her and firing small arms. MV Gibe opened retaliatory fire with small arms that were held onboard the vessel. The position reported by the merchant vessel was 13 nautical miles from Mysore at that time. The ship altered course to close MV Gibe and also launched her integral armed helicopter.
On sighting the helicopter and Mysore, the boats disengaged from MV Gibe and attempted escape. Mysore closed the vessels and ordered them to stop. The larger boat was a dhow was of green color and 8-1m in length. It had taken the second smaller boat (a skiff) under tow. Subsequently, the name of the dhow was identified as 'Salahaddin', Hull No 758(2).
The dhow was boarded at 1230h by the ship's Marine Commandos and a search carried out. 23 personnel (12 Somali and 11 Yemeni) surrendered on boarding. The search of dhow revealed a substantial cache of arms and equipment, including seven AK-47 and three other automatic rifles, along with thirteen loaded magazines; a rocket-propelled grenade-launcher along with rockets, cartridges and grenades; as many as three Outboard Motors (OBMs), a GPS Receiver, etcetera.
The personnel, arms, ammunition and equipment have been taken into custody by INS Mysore and will be handed over to appropriate authorities ashore and the ship will return to her patrol-duties.