The Indian Naval Ship Tabar, which is currently in the Gulf of Aden for Anti-Piracy Surveillance and Patrol Operations, encountered a pirate vessel, 285 NM South West of Salalah (Oman) on the evening of 18 Nov 08, with two speed boats in tow. This vessel was similar in description to the 'Mother Vessel' mentioned in various Piracy bulletins.
INS Tabar closed the vessel and asked her to stop for investigation. On repeated calls, the vessel's threatening response was that she would blow up the Naval Warship if it closed her. Pirates were seen roaming on the upper deck of this vessel with guns and Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers. The vessel continued its threatening calls and subsequently fired upon INS Tabar.
On being fired upon, INS Tabar retaliated in self defence and opened fire on the mother vessel. As a result of the firing by INS Tabar, fire broke out on the vessel and explosions were heard, possibly due to exploding ammunition that was stored on the vessel. Almost simultaneously, two speed boats were observed breaking off to escape. The ship chased the first boat which was later found abandoned. The other boat made good its escape into darkness.
INS Tabar is on Anti-Piracy Mission in the Gulf of Aden since 02 Nov 08. The operation is being controlled by Western Naval Command since mid Oct 08. During this period, she has successfully escorted approximately 35 ships, including a number of foreign flagged vessels, safely during their transit through pirate infested waters of the Gulf of Aden and also prevented two hijacking attempts on 11 Nov 08. The Indian Navy has been patrolling the piracy infested water in keeping with the Government guidelines to protect our sea borne trade, instill confidence in our sea faring community as well as function as a deterrent for pirates.
(Source: Ministry of Defence, Government of India)