Indian Naval Forces Seize Hijacked Bulk Carrier

AI generated image of the Indian Navy rescuing seafarers from a hijacked bulk carrier
Updated Published

An Indian Navy operation successfully reclaimed a Navibulgar bulk carrier, hijacked by Somali pirates three months prior, rescuing all 17 crew members over the past weekend.

On Saturday, the navy announced that its warship INS Kolkata's special commandos coerced the surrender of 35 Somali pirates, securing the safety of the crew aboard the hijacked Maltese-flagged vessel Ruen, without any injuries reported.

Constructed in 2016, the Ruen was captured near Somalia's coast in December, signifying the first successful hijacking by Somali pirates since 2017.

This hijacking followed a similar incident earlier in the month, where the Bangladeshi bulk carrier, Abdullah, with 23 crew members, was captured by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean.

According to the EU naval force, the Ruen, which was liberated 93 days post-hijack, likely served as a launchpad for the pirates' subsequent capture of SR Shipping's bulker, a part of Kabir Group.

The navy's operation commenced on Friday, lasting nearly 40 hours, initiated by the Ruen's interception and a demand for the pirates to surrender the ship and crew. The pirates responded by attacking the Indian naval ship in international waters.

Earlier in the year, the Indian Navy had also conducted rescues of two Iranian-flagged fishing vessels off Somalia's east coast and thwarted an attempted hijack of the Liberian-flagged capesize bulker Lila Norfolk in the North Arabian Sea.

Since November, over 20 hijacking attempts in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin have been documented. As of the last update on Friday, no ransom demands had been made for the Bangladeshi bulk carrier, which is now moored roughly four nautical miles from Godob Jiraan, Somalia.