DRONE ATTACK ON MV CHEM PLUTO- Indian Coast Guard Ship and Aircraft responded while patrolling in EEZ. According to sources, the last port of call was al Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Amid US led Operation Prosperity Guardian in view of drone attacks in Red Sea, the role of Hamas or Iran can not be ruled out.
Report: Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
New Delhi, 23 December 2023
On December 23rd, Indian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Mumbai received information regarding fire onboard MV Chem Pluto. The Merchant ship with 20 Indian and 01 Vietnamese Crew was reportedly attacked by a suspected drone strike or aerial platform.
The Indian Coast Guard Maritime Coordination Centre (MRCC)established real time communication with the vessel’s agent and ascertained nil loss of life and assured all assistance.It was also learnt that the vessel fire has been doused by the crew. For augmenting vessel’s safety MRCC mumbai has activated ISN and immediately diverted other merchant vessels in vicinity of Chem Pluto for rendering assistance.
The indian Coast Guard also pressed Offshore patrol vessel Vikram and Coast Guard dornier maritime surveillance aircraft into action for rendering assistance to Chem Pluto. The Coast Guard Dornier aircraft has sanitized area and established communication with Chem Pluto. The vessel has started making way towards mumbai post undertaking damage assessment and repairs on its power generation systems . The vessel is likely to enter Mumbai and sought escort assistance due to steering issues. Indian Coast Guard Ship Vikram will be escorting the ship during its passage. The Indian Coast Guard Operations Centre is monitoring situation closely.
The merchant vessel has reportedly commenced its Voyage from UAE on 19 Dec 23 and was bound for New Mangalore port with arrival on 25th December.