Beijing [China], Apr. 10 (ANI): The Chinese navy has claimed full credit for rescuing a Tuvaluan ship hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday by ignoring the assistance provided by the Indian Navy to them.
Xinhua news agency quoted the Chinese Navy as saying in a statement that a group of 16 members from the navy's special force boarded the hijacked ship OS35 and rescued the 19 crew members.
According to Chinese Navy, its 25th convoy fleet, which was conducting the escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia received a report of the hijack of the ship OS35 at the time and immediately set out the fleet's vessel Yulin for the rescue operation.
The navy also said that that all the 19 crew members were under their protection.
Indian Navy had said on Sunday that it had assisted the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in sanitising a ship hijacked in the Gulf of Aden.
According to sources in the Indian Navy, INS Tarkash and INS Mumbai assisted the Chinese PLA in rescuing the bulk carrier.
The Indian Navy provided communication and air support to the PLA's naval division which entered the ship to sanitise it. The ship has been declared safe, sources in the Indian Navy said.
The Tuvalu-flagged bulk carrier (OS 35) was travelling from Kelang in Malaysia to Aden when it was attacked.
Immediately after receiving an SOS from the vessel, the Indian Navy diverted two of its warships, INS Mumbai and INS Tarkash, in the direction of the bulk carrier.
"A distress call was received from a foreign merchant vessel MV OS 35 (Tuvalu registered vessel), which was attacked and boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Aden late night on April 8. Indian Navy ships Mumbai, Tarkash, Trishul and Aditya proceeding on deployment to the Mediterranean and passing through the Gulf of Aden, responded to the call and rapidly closed the merchant vessel by the early hours of April 9," the Indian Navy said in a statement.
"The Indian warships established contact with the Captain of the merchant vessel, who along with the crew had locked themselves in a strong room on board, as per standard operating procedure," the statement added. (ANI)