Crew saved thanks to citadel, UKMTO and Indian Navy
and nearly lost thanks to owner’s greed
Mumbai, Nov 12 (IANS) Indian Navy ships INS Veer and INS Delhi and marine commandos have foiled a piracy attempt on a merchant vessel in the Arabian Sea, an official said Friday. "At about 6 a.m. Nov 11, about 450 nautical miles west of Mumbai, merchant ship MV BBC Orinoco with a crew of 14 (five Ukrainian and nine Filipinos) reported being attacked by pirates," a defence spokesperson said. "The crew locked themselves in the ship's engine room and the steering compartment and communicated with their agents, UK MTO Dubai via email," he added. Dubai, then, intimated the Indian Navy for assistance.
"On receipt of this information, the Indian Navy promptly detached one of its missile corvettes, INS Veer, to intercept the distressed vessel and also sailed a capital ship, INS Delhi with a team of Marine Commandos (MARCOS) embarked," the spokesperson said. One of the navy's long range maritime patrol aircraft was also deployed for aerial surveillance. The Indian Coast Guard, too, also responded.
The naval forces, which arrived at the scene at daybreak, instantly took steps to rescue the crew.
"MARCOS slithered onto the merchant ship from a Sea King helicopter and took the crew, who were locked in compartments, to safety, while the helicopter provided airborne fire support," the spokesperson said.
Reference: BBC Orinoco IMO 9366110, dwt 17110, built 2008, flag Antigua, operator Reedereigruppe Freese. Vessel sailed from Aquaba Jordan Nov 3 dest Singapore. Vessel resumed voyage. Crew as on Oct 21 2010 (ITF): 14 - Nationalities: Filipino(6), Russian(1), Sri Lankan(1), Ukranian(6).
Comment: Again Citadel saved crew and vessel, again sheer luck, but we know, that pirates already take with them C4 explosives and sooner or later, they’ll manage not too complicated skill of blowing up citadels. We see again, how owners’ greed put vessel in a grave danger. There wasn’t armed guard on board, vessel sailed shortest and most risky route. Crews aren’t obliged to experience pirates attacks and fire, hiding in citadels and praying they will survive. Owners now have means to safeguard vessels – either by guaranteed safe routes, or by hiring armed guards. They can do it, ergo – they must do it.