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Indian Navy’s INS Sharda Awarded ‘On the Spot Unit Citation’ for Anti-Piracy Operations

Kochi: Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, visited the Southern Naval Command in Kochi, where he awarded the prestigious ‘On the Spot Unit Citation’ to INS Sharda for its exemplary performance in anti-piracy operations. The ship played a pivotal role in the successful rescue of all 19 crew members of the Iranian fishing vessel Omari, who were held hostage by pirates off the East coast of Somalia.

INS Sharda was deployed to investigate the situation involving the Iranian fishing vessel Omari, suspected to have been hijacked by pirates. Utilizing surveillance inputs from naval remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), the ship intercepted the vessel and maintained a covert trail throughout the night. In the early hours of February 2, 2024, the ship’s integral helicopter and Prahar team were launched. The ship’s assertive stance compelled the pirates to release the crew and the vessel unharmed.

The swift and decisive actions of INS Sharda resulted in the successful rescue of the hijacked fishing vessel and its crew from Somali pirates. The operation showcased the Indian Navy’s commitment to enhancing security and safety in the Indian Ocean Region, saving precious lives at sea.

Admiral R Hari Kumar personally interacted with the crew of INS Sharda, commending them for their quick response to the piracy threat and their adept handling of the operation under challenging circumstances. During his address, Admiral Kumar praised the professionalism and dedication of the crew, which has further solidified the Indian Navy’s reputation as the preferred security partner in the region.

The award of the ‘On the Spot Unit Citation’ to INS Sharda highlights the Navy’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding maritime interests and ensuring the safety of seafarers in the Indian Ocean Region. It also serves as a testament to the exceptional capabilities and readiness of Indian naval forces in combating maritime threats effectively.

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