A Russian couple who mistakenly docked on Indian land while on a sailing trip was released by Indian officials on Tuesday even as a senior cop expressed shock over how the duo's yacht was able to avoid Navy and Coast Guard surveillance.
The husband and wife were let off after the local Russian embassy vouched for their identities.
The 45-year-old Russian mand his 39-year-old wife were on a world sailing tour when they ran out of food and water near the Yemen coast.
They then reached a light house off the Mumbai coast in the Arabian Sea. Several private yachts and fisher boats are docked at the lighthouse.
Local fishermen, whom the couple approached for help, suspected something amiss and contacted the Mumbai Police as they were unable to converse with the couple due to the language barrier.
Mumbai Police reached the spot and detained the couple, even taking custody of yacht. The cops did not find anything suspicious from the couple or on the yacht except a walkie talkie.
The Russian woman who, along with her husbaand, was detained and later released by Mumabi Police
Police then got in touch with the Russian embassy and after verifying the couple's identities with Russian officials decided to release them and their yacht.
A Mumbai police officer told India Today, "The couple had permission to get into Indian waters and not land. The couple left Russia for world tour on their yacht around a year back. They had permission. The couple mistakenly reached there and they are a very clean background which was crossed checked from Russian officials."
Another senior IPS officer from Mumbai, meanwhile, expressed shock at the security lapse. The officer told India Today, "We are shocked the way the couple with huge Yacht got inside Indian territory through waters. They dodged Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, which is shocking and alarming. More measures needs to be taken."
The coastal area around Mumbai is a sensitive zone ever since the 2008 Mumbai attacks. 10 terrorists, including Ajmal Kasab, had sailed from Pakistan and entered Mumbai via the sea, before going on killing more than 150 people in a series of coordinated shooting and bombing attacks all over the city.
The couple was on a sailing trip in their yacht and ran out of food near the Yemen coast
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