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SOURCE: ANI

Experts and distinguished voices from across the world heaped praise on India after the Indian Navy merchant vessel INS Visakhapatnam responded to a distress call by merchant vessel Marlin Luanda in the Gulf of Aden, which caught fire after a suspected drone strike by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The Navy ship, which was scrambled after the distress call, successfully doused the flames on the merchant vessel. Weighing in on the incident, experts noted that China, despite being considered a world power and having a naval base in Djibouti (near the area of the incident), didn’t respond to the distress call and it was the Indian Navy that demonstrated swift action.

“India takes over. Superpower rising…Stop drooling over China,” Europe-based historian and researcher, Martin Sauerbrey posted on X.

British journalist Mark Urban also called it ‘fascinating’ that India, and not China, has risen to the crisis in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

“Among the emerging great powers fascinating to see how India has risen to the crisis in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea…China not so much,” Urban posted on X.

“India’s Navy helped extinguish and secure British oil tanker carrying Russian oil product #MarlinLuanda in the Gulf of Aden,” Hassan Sajwani from the UAE posted.

Foreign affairs expert Abhijit Iyer-Mitra also called out China for not providing security to the shipping assets in the Arabian Sea despite having a naval base in Djibouti.

“India has been providing security to shipping in the Arabian Sea – while China which has a base in Djibouti is not,” Mitra posted on X.

Earlier, the firefighting team of the Indian Navy warship, INS Visakhapatnam, successfully brought the fire onboard the merchant vessel Marlin Luanda under control on Saturday.

The crew of the guided missile destroyer was accompanied by the crew of the MV to bring the blaze under control. The visuals shared by the Indian Navy showed firefighters making efforts to control the fire on board the merchant vessel.

INS Vishakhapatnam responded to a distress call and proceeded to provide timely assistance to the merchant vessel.

The firefighting team of INS Visakhapatnam, comprising 10 Indian Naval personnel with specialist firefighting equipment, rushed to the rescue of the merchant vessel in the early hours of Saturday.

According to the Indian Navy, a US and French warship also responded to the distress call from MV Marlin Luanda. Indian Navy, confirmed its response to the situation, stating that it remains steadfast in its commitment towards the safety of merchant shippers and seafarers.

“Fire onboard MV #MarlinLuanda brought under control Based on request from Master of the MV, the fire fighting team from #INSVisakhapatnam comprising 10 Indian Naval personnel with specialist fire fighting equipment embarked the vessel in early hours of #27Jan 24. After six hours of battling the fire along with the crew of the MV, the fire fighting team has successfully brought the fire under control,” the Indian Navy spokesperson posted on X.

“The team is currently monitoring the situation to rule out any possibility of reignition. #INSVisakhapatnam had responded to distress call from MV #MarlinLuanda & proceeded to provide assistance. A US & French warship also responded to the distress call. #IndianNavy remains steadfast in her commitment towards safety of merchant shipping & seafarers,” it added.

Meanwhile, the US Central Command stated that Houthi terrorists fired one anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and hit the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker M/V Marlin Luanda.

In a post on X, US Central Command stated, “Houthis Strike M/V Marlin Luanda Operating in the Gulf of Aden. On Jan. 26, at approximately 7:45 p.m. (Sanaa time), Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists fired one anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and struck the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker M/V Marlin Luanda. The ship issued a distress call and reported damage. USS Carney (DDG 64) and other coalition ships have responded and are rendering assistance. No injuries have been reported at this time”.