INS Sharda is deployed for anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden since 06 Apr 17. On 16 May 17, at about 1645 hrs, the ship received a distress call from MV Lord Mountbatten (a Liberian registered ship), in position 230 nm South-West of Salalah (in the Gulf of Aden). The vessel had reported an incident of attempted piracy by two suspicious mother vessels alongwith 7-8 skiffs. Sharda, which was at that time 30 Nm East of the reported position, immediately responded to the distress call and proceeded at best speed to investigate the incident.
On arriving in the area by about 1900 hrs, Sharda detected two dhows alongwith eight skiffs in vicinity, three of which fled the area at high speeds on sighting the warship. Indian Navy’s MARCOS, with support of the armed helicopter from the ship investigated the dhows and their skiffs by conducting board and search operations. The absence of any fishing gear onboard the two dhows/ remaining five skiffs indicated malicious intent and possible piracy-linked intentions. One high calibre AKM rifle alongwith one filled magazine (28 rounds) was found hidden onboard one of the dhows. The weapon and ammunition has been confiscated to prevent future illegal misuse.