Piracy Attack on MV Ruen in the Central Arabian Sea

During the night of December 14, 2023, a potential piracy incident was reported onboard the Malta-flagged vessel MV Ruen in the Central Arabian Sea, involving the boarding of the vessel by six unidentified individuals, as per the UKMTO portal.


In a prompt response, the Indian Navy’s Maritime Patrol Aircraft was dispatched, reaching MV Ruen on December 15, 2023. Contact was established with the crew, all 18 of whom (with no Indian nationals onboard) were reported safe within the citadel. Simultaneously, INS Kochi, on Anti-Piracy Patrol in the Gulf of Aden, was immediately diverted to offer assistance.


On December 16, 2023, INS Kochi intercepted MV Ruen and deployed its helicopter to assess the situation. It was confirmed that the pirates had breached the citadel, holding all crew members hostage. Regrettably, one crew member sustained injuries but was reported to be in stable condition. While no armed intervention occurred to safeguard the crew onboard the hijacked MV, necessary measures were taken by the warship to ensure the pirates treated the crew appropriately. A Japanese warship initially arrived, later replaced by the Spanish warship ESPNS Victoria on the same day. Indian Navy vessels maintained close proximity to the hijacked vessel during its transit to Somalia from December 16 to 17, 2023, engaging with the pirates and coordinating efforts with other warships.


On December 17, 2023, the hijacked vessel entered the territorial waters of Somalia (off Bosaso). INS Kochi successfully facilitated the release of the injured crew member by the pirates in the early hours of December 18, 2023, for further medical attention. While the crew member received initial medical care onboard the IN ship, due to the urgent need for extensive medical attention beyond the ship’s capabilities, the crew member was transferred ashore in Oman on December 19, 2023.


In response to the incident and to reinforce anti-piracy measures in the Gulf of Aden region, the Indian Navy has deployed another indigenous guided missile destroyer. The Indian Navy reaffirms its commitment to ensuring the safety of merchant vessels and providing assistance to mariners as the primary responder in the region.



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