The accident occurred on Tuesday (May 16) on 230 nautical miles southwest of Salalah, but the Indian Navy patrol vessel INS Sharda thwarted the attack and succeeded to rescue the merchant ship from capsizing. The bulker Lord Mountbatten was en route from Jebel Ali to Port Said, when was attacked by two fast skiffs. The duty officer raised alarm and made a distress call to local rescue coordination center. The Indian Navy patrol vessel INS Sharda responded to the call and changed course to the suspected pirates, launching two helicopters with special forces boarding units.
It was estimated that there are two suspected dhow mother ships accompanied by eight skiffs. The special forces successfully boarded the vessels and chased down the remaining pirates. They found one automatic gun on board of the vessels, but there was lack of fishing equipment.
“The vessel had reported an incident of attempted piracy by two suspicious mother vessels along with 7-8 skiffs. Sharda, which was at that time 30 nm East of the reported position, immediately responded to the distress call and proceeded at best speed to investigate the incident”, said the Navy Spokesperson, DK Sharma said. “One automatic Kalashnikov rifle and 28 rounds of magazines were also recovered from one of the dhows”, added he.
There were no reported injuries during the attack. The Liberian-flagged bulker Lord Mountbatten was released to resume voyage to port of destination. The investigation is under way.
The bulker Lord Mountbatten (IMO: 9589712) has overall length of 169.40 m, moulded beam of 27.20 m and maximum draft of 8.40 m. The deadweight of the ship is 28,207 DWT and the gross tonnage is 17,025 GRT. The bulker was built in 2011 by IS Shipyard in Imabari, Japan.