Indian Navy aircraft established contact with a ship belonging to Israel hit by a drone attack off the Indian coast.  10 points

 – Gudstory

Indian Navy aircraft established contact with a ship belonging to Israel hit by a drone attack off the Indian coast. 10 points – Gudstory

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Indian Navy’s P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft has successfully established communication with the distressed ship MV Chem Pluto, which caught fire off India’s west coast in the Arabian Sea. The captured ship, which had 20 Indians on board, was hit in a suspected drone strike.

The Indian Navy warship is reportedly moving towards the distressed merchant vessel and is expected to reach the merchant vessel in the next few hours.

The Indian Coast Guard has informed that the distressed ship MV Chem Pluto has started moving at a speed of about 11 knots per hour and the Indian Coast Guard ship ICGS Vikram is likely to meet it around 10 pm today.

“MV Chem Pluto has also requested to be escorted by ICGS Vikram and is expected to reach Mumbai by early December 25,” ICG officials said.

Here are the high points of this event

-A merchant ship belonging to Israel, MV Chem Pluto, was heading towards Mangalore from a port in Saudi Arabia carrying crude oil.

-A merchant ship carrying a large fleet of crew, including 20 Indians, caught fire after being hit by a suspected drone attack.

-Defence officials said that the merchant ship was reported to be present 217 nautical miles off the Porbandar coast.

-The Indian Coast Guard ship ICGS Vikram, deployed on patrol of the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone, started moving towards the distressed merchant ship MV Chem Pluto.

– Indian Navy warships in the vicinity are also moving towards the distressed ship along with about 20 Indian crew members, all of whom are reported to be safe.

-Indian Coast Guard Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft has established communication with the distressed ship MV Chem Pluto. After the drone attack the ship switched off its automatic identification system which can be used to track the ship. Indian Coast Guard officials said the ship’s power generation system is now functional and more checks are being conducted before it leaves for its destination.

– There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came amid drone and missile attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels on a vital shipping lane in the Red Sea in solidarity with Gaza.

-Last month, an Israeli-owned cargo ship was hit in a suspected drone strike by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Indian Ocean, according to a US official.

-Red Sea attacks on shipping since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7 have prompted major companies to reroute their cargo ships around the southern tip of Africa, despite higher fuel costs for longer voyages .

According to the Pentagon, Houthi rebels have launched more than 100 drone and missile strikes, including 35 targeting merchant ships from 10 different countries.

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Published: 23 Dec 2023, 07:02 PM IST

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