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'We had lost all hope of fighting': Captain of missile-hit merchant vessel thanks Indian Navy for rescue ops
Indian Navy
In image missile-hit Marlin Launda/ courtesy: Indian Navy X page

'We had lost all hope of fighting': Captain of missile-hit merchant vessel thanks Indian Navy for rescue ops

| @indiablooms | 28 Jan 2024, 12:24 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: The captain of a merchant vessel that caught fire after it was struck by a missile in the Gulf of Aden thanked the Indian Navy after one of its warships extinguished the massive blaze onboard on Saturday night.

INS Visakhapatnam responded to an SOS call from merchant vessel Marlin Launda after it was targeted by a missile on Saturday. The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said that the UK company owned vessel was hit by a ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels, who have been targeting merchant vessels in the Red Sea.

The Gulf of Aden is a deepwater gulf of the Indian Ocean between Yemen to the north, the Arabian Sea to the east, Djibouti to the west, and the Guardafui Channel, Socotra and Somalia to the south. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea.

The Navy shared a video on X, formerly Twitter, showing the merchant ship's captain thanking the warship's personnel for responding to the SOS call. "I thank Indian Navy warship INS Visakhapatnam. We had lost all hope of fighting this fire. Hats off to Indian Navy whose experts came onboard to fight the fire. Indian Navy went out of the way to help us," Abhilash Rawat, captain of the merchant vessel said.

In a statement, the Indian Navy said that a team of 10 firefighters brought the fire under control after six hours.

"Fire onboard MV #MarlinLuanda brought under control. After six hours of battling the fire along with the crew of the MV, the fire fighting team has successfully brought the fire under control. The team is currently monitoring the situation to rule out any possibility of reignition," the Indian Navy statement said.

The Navy had earlier confirmed that the targeted ship, attacked by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis, carried 22 Indians and one Bangladeshi crew.

The fuel tanker, operated on behalf of trading firm Trafigura, was struck by a missile in the Red Sea, as confirmed by the company.

The group has been targeting merchant vessels in the Red Sea amid the raging Israel-Hamas conflict.

On Jan 18, INS Visakhapatnam had responded to a similar distress call by another merchant vessel with Indian crew which was attacked by drones.

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