Mumbai, 5th January 2024: The Indian Navy successfully averted a hijacking attempt on MV Lila Norfolk in the North Arabian Sea, ensuring the safety of all 21 crew members, including 15 Indians. The crew members were safely evacuated from the citadel, and a thorough sanitization operation by MARCOs (Marine Commandos) confirmed the absence of hijacker personnel.
The pirates’ attempt to hijack the vessel appears to have been thwarted by the Indian Navy’s swift and forceful response. The Indian Naval warship issued a powerful warning, leading to the likely abandonment of the hijacking plan by the pirates. The Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) played a crucial role in intercepting the potential threat, the Indian Navy stated.
Currently, INS Chennai is positioned in the vicinity of MV Lila Norfolk, providing support to restore power generation and propulsion systems. The naval vessel is working towards ensuring the safe continuation of MV Lila Norfolk’s voyage to its next port of call.
Liberia registered bulk carrier reported boarding by 5 – 6 unauthorised armed personnel on United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) portal in the evening of 4th January 2024. Indian Naval MPA launched, established contact with the vessel. INS Chennai, a warship, deployed on anti piracy patrol was diverted for assistance. It intercepted the MV Lila Norfolk at 3.15 pm.
The successful intervention by the Indian Navy highlights the effectiveness of their maritime security measures and the commitment to ensuring the safety of seafarers in the region.