An unsettling drone strike rocked the Arabian Sea as it caused an explosion and subsequent fire on the MV Chem Pluto, a merchant ship, on Saturday. Fortunately, no casualties were reported among the crew, which includes 20 Indian nationals. In response, the Indian Coast Guard swiftly mobilized its vessel, ICGS Vikram, toward the distressed merchant ship located 217 nautical miles off the Porbandar coast.
The incident, which occurred during the ship’s journey from a Saudi Arabian port to Mangaluru while carrying crude oil, prompted immediate action by the Indian Coast Guard. Officials confirmed that a Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft established communication with the beleaguered vessel, seeking to assist and ensure the safety of its crew.
Defence authorities revealed that the ICGS Vikram, patrolling the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone, received orders to redirect and aid the merchant ship in distress. The Coast Guard’s vessel issued alerts to nearby ships, urging them to extend support to the affected vessel.
Despite the disruption caused by the drone attack, all crew members aboard the MV Chem Pluto are reported to be unharmed. Following the incident, the ship deactivated its Automatic Identification System, commonly used for tracking purposes. However, officials confirmed that the ship’s power generation system is operational, conducting necessary checks before continuing its voyage to its designated destination.
This incident follows closely on the heels of recent maritime disturbances. Just days ago, the Indian Navy intervened in the evacuation of an injured sailor from the MV Ruen, a Malta-flagged cargo vessel reportedly hijacked by six individuals in the Arabian Sea.
As investigations into the drone strike and its ramifications unfold, concerns regarding maritime security and the safety of vessels navigating these waters intensify. The Indian Coast Guard remains vigilant and actively engaged in addressing maritime emergencies, ensuring the safety of seafarers and vessels traversing these vital shipping routes.
Sources By Agencies