In a major rescue operation, Indian Navy evacuated 38 Indian nationals stranded near Yemen’s Socotra island after Mekenu, a severe category cylone hit its shores.
The sailors had gone missing after Mekenu struck the island located close to horn of Africa between Gulf of Aden and Arabian sea a few days back and reportedly killed at least 30 people. The seafarers were left with limited food and water.
After receiving the distress call from from the DG shipping and the Indian Sailing Vessels Association, the operation, code named ‘NISTAR’, was carried out on the morning of Jun 03 , off the coast of Socotra. The Navy pressed into action INS Sunanya which was deployed on another mission in West Arabian Sea.
According to Navy, Cyclone Mekunu also damaged property on and near the Socotra island. Three Indian dhows at Socotra suffered damages and sank at the harbour; another dhow, MSV Safina Al Khijar with 12 Indians onboard is reported to be still missing.
The operation was carried out on June 3 off the Socotra coast. Those evacuated were provided with food, water and medical care and telephone facilities to inform their families about their well-being. Post evacuation, the ship proceeded towards Porbandar to disembark the Indians ashore.