Crew of 'Lorenzo Putha IV' held captive by pirates in Arabian Sea rescued in coordination with Sri Lanka Navy

A collaborative effort took place involving the Sri Lanka Navy and regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs) to rescue the fishermen aboard the fishing trawler ‘Lorenzo Putha IV’, which was forcibly taken into custody by pirates, while engaged in fishing activities in the Arabian Sea. As a result of this operation, the Seychelles Coast Guard today (29th January 2024) safely rescued the 06 crew members of the trawler, held captive by pirates.

‘Lorenzo Putha IV’ (Reg. No. IMUL-A-2590- CHW) reportedly departed from Dikkowita Fisheries Harbour on 12th January with 06 fishermen aboard and it had been hijacked by pirates whilst engaging in fishing in the Arabian Sea. Thus, the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources on 27th January informed the Sri Lanka Navy about the developments and requested assistance to rescue both the crew members and trawler.

Responding promptly to the developing situation, the Sri Lanka Navy collaborated with MRCC Seychelles, following the directives of the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, to commence a joint rescue operation. Moreover, assistance of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) which is focusing on anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea, as well as regional maritime stakeholders was also sought in this regard.

As the coordinated operation panning out, the Seychelles Defence Forces sent out its Coast Guard Ship ‘TOPAZ’ to the sea area about 230 nautical miles off the Mahe Island, within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Seychelles.

As a result, the Coast Guard Ship ‘TOPAZ’ was able to release the fishing vessel from pirate custody today (29th January) and rescue the 06 crew members of the trawler safely. In the process, 03 pirates were also taken into custody.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard Ship ‘TOPAZ’ has started escorting the rescued fishermen to the Port Victoria, Seychelles as of now.