The MV Merlin Luanda, which has 22 Indian and 1 Bangladeshi crew members on board, was reportedly attacked by Houthi rebels in the Gulf of Aden. The Indian Navy deployed its Ship’s NBCD team along with firefighting equipment to assist the crew in extinguishing the fire on board the vessel.
US Central Command Confirms Houthi Attack
The US Central Command confirmed that Houthi terrorists fired an anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and struck the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker M/V Marlin Luanda.
“The ship issued a distress call and reported damage,” the US Central Command said in a statement. “USS Carney (DDG 64) and other coalition ships have responded and are rendering assistance. No injuries have been reported at this time.”
Earlier Indian Navy Intervention
Earlier this month, the Indian Navy’s INS Visakhapatnam responded to a distress call from the Marshall Island-flagged MV Genco Picardy following a drone attack on the night of January 17. The destroyer intercepted the vessels at midnight on January 18 and provided immediate assistance.
Importance of Indian Navy’s Presence in the Gulf of Aden
The Indian Navy has been playing a key role in ensuring maritime security in the Gulf of Aden, which is a vital shipping lane for oil and other goods. The recent attacks by Houthi rebels highlight the importance of the Indian Navy’s presence in the region.