New Delhi, December 24:In swift response to a maritime incident involving a drone attack on MT Chem Pluto in the Arabian Sea, the Indian Navy is closely monitoring the situation. The Ministry of Defence, in a press release, confirmed that the vessel, carrying 22 crew members (21 Indian and one Vietnamese), was hit by a projectile, likely a missile or drone, at approximately 7:45 am on December 23.
Taking immediate action, the Indian Navy diverted a maritime patrol aircraft for routine surveillance and directed the Indian naval ship Mormugao to assess the situation and provide assistance to MT Chem Pluto. The naval patrol aircraft overflew the vessel at 1:15 pm on December 23, establishing contact with the crew, who reported that all 22 members were safe, and the fire had been extinguished.
To ensure comprehensive support, the Navy communicated details of the situation to all Indian maritime agencies. Indian Naval Ship Mormugao, in communication with MT Chem Pluto at 7:30 pm on December 23, sought to ascertain if any further assistance was required. CGS Vikram, present at the scene, was directed to escort the vessel to Mumbai.
Upon arrival in Mumbai, a Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) specialist will embark on MV Chem Pluto to sanitize the vessel and conduct a thorough investigation. The Indian Navy remains dedicated to closely monitoring the situation with all stakeholders, emphasizing its commitment to ensuring the safety of merchant shipping in the region.