In a dramatic night-time operation, the Indian Navy extinguished a raging fire onboard a merchant vessel struck by a missile in the Gulf of Aden, saving the lives of its 23 crew members. The grateful captain, Abhilash Rawat, expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the Navy’s swift and skilled response.
“We had lost all hope of fighting this fire,” Captain Rawat declared in a video shared by the Navy, his voice thick with emotion. “Hats off to the Indian Navy. Their experts came onboard and battled the flames for hours. They went out of their way to save us.”
The Indian Navy warship INS Visakhapatnam sprang into action upon receiving the vessel’s distress call. A team of 10 firefighters bravely boarded the storm-tossed ship and battled the blaze for six intense hours, finally bringing it under control. In a testament to international cooperation, US and French warships also joined the rescue effort.
This daring rescue was not the first for INS Visakhapatnam. Just two weeks earlier, the warship had responded to a similar distress call from another merchant vessel with Indian crew attacked by drones off India’s coast. These decisive actions showcase the Indian Navy’s commitment to safeguarding maritime security and its unwavering dedication to saving lives at sea.
The missile attack, attributed to Yemen’s Houthi rebels, highlights the dangers faced by merchant vessels navigating the increasingly volatile Red Sea region. Yet, amidst the chaos and uncertainty, the story of the Indian Navy’s courage and the captain’s gratitude shines as a beacon of hope and human connection.