Navy sends INS Visakhapatnam to help burning vessel in Red Sea

A view of the oil tanker Marlin Luanda on fire after an attack in the Red Sea

A view of the oil tanker Marlin Luanda on fire after an attack in the Red Sea


22 Indians on board British merchant ship

New Delhi: The Indian Navy has deployed its guided missile destroyer INS Visakhapatnam in Gulf of Aden following a distress call from British merchant ship MV Marlin Luanda. The British ship was hit by a missile after an alleged Houthi attack off the Yemen coast. There are 22 Indian nationals and one Bangladeshi crew onboard Marlin Luanda.

"The firefighting efforts onboard the distressed Merchant Vessel is being augmented by the NBCD team along with firefighting equipment, deployed by #INSVisakhapatnam to assist the crew onboard the MV," Indian Navy posted on X.

It added that the Indian Navy remains steadfast and committed to safeguarding Merchant Vessels and ensuring the safety of life at sea.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack and claimed that their naval forces carried out an operation targeting what they described as the “British oil tanker Marlin Luanda” in the Gulf of Aden.

Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea in a statement said that the group used “appropriate naval missiles" and that the "strike was direct”. The United States has also confirmed the Houthis strike on MV Marlin Luanda.

“On January 26, at approximately 7:45 pm (Sanaa time), Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists fired one anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and struck the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker M/V Marlin Luanda,” the US Central Command (CENTCOM) wrote on X. “The ship issued a distress call and reported damage. USS Carney (DDG 64) and other coalition ships have responded and are rendering assistance. No injuries have been reported at this time.” The incident is the latest in a series of drone and pirate attacks on merchant vessels in the region, including the Red Sea and parts of the Arabian Sea.

The Indian Navy has stepped up surveillance in the troubled region substantially and deployed task groups consisting of around 10 warships in the face of the recent attacks on India-bound merchant vessels.

Houthi militia has been targeting commercial shipping in the Red Sea with missiles and drones after the Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7. The Iran-backed Houthi rebels declared their support for Hamas. Several shipping companies have suspended their operations in the Red Sea following the attacks, which have forced mariners to change course and take longer routes around the southern tip of Africa.

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