Mumbai: Indian Naval forces were quick to react when Italian marines from Italian crude carrier Enirca Lexie shot dead two Indian fishermen. Indian Coast Guard was quick to sense, identify and apprehend the erring ship (Read : Coast Guard locates merchant ship ‘Enrica Lexie’ that killed two fishermen). ICGS Samar, ICGS Lakshmibhai and an aircraft were the first to pursue the ship. Indian Navy was quick to send INS kabra, a Fast Attack Craft.
This incident has taken the nation by surprise. It shows that Indian Naval forces joint planning, exercises and their efforts towards building relations with the fishermen have borne fruit. Navy and Coast Guard are no slackers. Incidents like MV Alondra Rainbow : a hijacked ship taken back by Indian navy, the constant busting of Somali Pirate’s and anti piracy patrols have earned them a reputation.
Coincidentally, in June 2011, Vice Admiral Sushil, during INS kabra induction, underscored the importance of relatively smaller ships like Fast Attack Crafts for a blue water Navy stating that these are essential inventory in peacetime, for Low Intensity Conflicts and anti piracy operations.
However, the same month The Naval forces reputation was dented as Cargo vessel M V Wisdom floated towards Mumbai coast without being noticed. INS Kabra was not just there at the scene, but also determined that Enirca Lexie was not fired upon by the fishermen as claimed by the Italian servicemen.
Navy, which has an overall responsibility of Indian coast and sea, and the Coast guard deserve three cheers: Hip Hip Hurray!