15 July 2009

Incident: Elephant freed by French, Indian military

The French and Indian navies liberate a Liberian vessel, A Elephant, through military action.
The small [sic] boat was hijacked by the pirates off the Somali coast Friday and was freed Wednesday after a joint operation by the two navies, the official said. The Somali pirates carrying rocket propelled grenades and AK-47s hijacked the Indian boat about 10NM off Bosasso in Gulf of Aden waters. The vessel had discharged its cargo at the Somali harbor and was proceeding to Dubai. The Somali pirates forced the boat towards Bab el Mandeb, north of Somalia, and tried to hijack the vessel, a Liberian tanker, Monday. A French warship shadowed the pirated boat and exchanged information about it with the Indian naval ship. “The dhow was thereafter tracked continuously by the warships of both the navies. Attempts to board the dhow for investigation by the French ship were abandoned when the pirates threatened to kill the 14 crew held hostage on the dhow. Following the joint efforts by the Indian and French warships patrolling the waters of Gulf of Aden, the pirates steered the dhow towards the Somali coast and released it along with the crew on July 15,” the Indian Navy official said. However, the pirates robbed the crew of all their cash and valuables. The hijacked boat was registered at Porbandar in India and was operating from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is the sixth successful operation of the Indian Navy against the pirates in the region since November last.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 7/30/09)

A Elephant is, in fact, a 320 m long tankship. (vesseltracker.com)