Red Sea crisis: Indian Navy saves UK oil tanker, with 22 Indians onboard, that caught fire after Houthi missile attack

  • INS Visakhapatnam, a guided missile destroyer, deployed in the Gulf of Aden responded to a distress call from MV Merlin Luanda on the night of 26 January. The MV has 22 Indian and 01 Bangladeshi crew onboard, said Indian Navy

Written By Sayantani Biswas
Updated27 Jan 2024
INS Visakhapatnam, a guided missile destroyer, deployed in the Gulf of Aden responded to a distress call from MV Merlin Luanda on the night of 26 January
INS Visakhapatnam, a guided missile destroyer, deployed in the Gulf of Aden responded to a distress call from MV Merlin Luanda on the night of 26 January

Indian Navy's INS Visakhapatnam responded to a distress call from a British oil tanker in the Red Sea. The UK merchant vessel, MV Merlin Luanda, caught fire following an alleged Houthi attack off the Yemen coast in the Gulf Of Aden. According to Indian Navy, the oil tanker has 22 Indian, and 1 Bangladeshi crew onboard.

Indian Navy's INS Visakhapatnam, a guided missile destroyer, deployed in the Gulf of Aden deployed a team to help fire-fighting on the United Kingdom's merchant vessel. According to Navy provided information the distress call was made on the night of 26 January, Friday.

This marks the latest incident linked to the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group in the key shipping route Gulf of Aden.

According to reports, the MV Merlin Luanda, came under attack from the Houthi rebels. The tanker was on fire but no deaths or injuries were reported after the vessel was allegedly struck by a Houthi anti-ship missile in the Gulf of Aden.

Yemen's Houthi rebels launched a missile on Friday at a United States warship patrolling the Gulf of Aden, forcing it to shoot down the projectile, and struck a British vessel as their aggressive attacks on maritime traffic continue.

The Carney attack represents the first time the Houthis directly targeted a US warship since the rebels began their assaults on shipping in October, a US official said on condition of anonymity because no authorization had been given to discuss the incident.

“Based on the request from the MV Merlin Luanda, INS Visakhapatnam has deployed Ship's NBCD team along with firefighting equipment to render assistance to the crew towards augmenting firefighting efforts onboard the distressed MV”, said the Indian Navy.

The US military said earlier that a US Navy ship and other vessels were providing assistance after the Marlin Luanda was hit by a Houthi anti-ship missile.

The Marshall Islands-flagged Marlin Luanda issued a distress call and reported damage, US Central Command said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

The captainof the UK merchant vessel praised the Indian Navy for fighting fire on his vessel after it was hit by a missile. He says “The Indian navy went out of the way with its specialised team to help them”

The USS Carney and other coalition ships were providing assistance to the tanker, it said.

About eight hours later, the US military destroyed a Houthi anti-ship missile that was aimed into the Red Sea and ready to launch, Central Command said.

The Houthi's Al-Masira television said on Saturday that the United States and Britain launched two airstrikes that targeted the port of Ras Issa, Yemen's main oil export terminal.

It was not clear if this was the strike referred to by Central Command, and the US Fifth Fleet did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(With agency inputs)

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HomeNewsworldRed Sea crisis: Indian Navy saves UK oil tanker, with 22 Indians onboard, that caught fire after Houthi missile attack

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