Seychelles rescues Sri Lankan crew abducted by Somali piratesGeneral |Author: Betymie Bonnelame | January 29, 2024, Monday @ 15:50| 5976 views
The rescue mission was done with patrol ship Topaz. (File photo: Seychelles Nation)
The Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) with the Seychelles Coast Guard led an operation to regain control of a Sri Lankan fishing vessel abducted by armed Somali pirates, State House said on Monday.
According to the SDF, they were alerted by Sri Lanka of the hijacking and deployed a rescue mission by patrol ship Topaz. The mission is still ongoing.
The vessel, Lorenza Putha, and its crew are due to be brought to the Port of Victoria on Tuesday.
The Commander in Chief of the SDF, President Wavel Ramkalawan, has congratulated the Special Forces and Coast Guard team on a well executed and successful mission.
He said that this is the spirit of the Seychelles Defence Forces; professionalism, courage and bravery are the tenets of the new spirit in the force.
"Though small, we will make our contribution in attaining maritime security, peace, and determination in the fight against terrorism to ensure that the world, especially in our part of the Indian Ocean remains a safe and peaceful region. Once again, I reiterate the pride and confidence of the Seychellois nation in the Seychelles Defence Forces," he said.
According to the American daily newspaper, The Washington Post, the fishing vessel and its six crew members were suspected of being abducted by Somali pirates two days ago.
It added that "The apparent abduction came two weeks after Sri Lanka said it would join a U.S.-led operation to protect merchant vessels sailing in the Red Sea against attacks by Yemen-based Houthi rebels."
The Washington Post wrote that "the hijacking of the Sri Lankan vessel occurred in international waters about 840 nautical miles (1,555 kilometers) east of Somalia, 1,100 nautical miles (2,040 kilometers) from Sri Lanka and north of the Seychelles, according to Sri Lankan navy spokesman Capt. Gayan Wickramasuriya."