Operation Evacuation - Operation Rahat

Evacuation Operation Yemen - Operation Rahat

Hodeidah on 06 Apr 15

INS Mumbai entered Hodeidah on 06 Apr 15 and evacuated 474 personnel, including 11 foreign nationals. The evacuees were disembarked at Djibouti on 07 Apr 15

Hodeidah on 07 Apr 15

INS Tarkash escorted MVs Kavaratti and Corals from India to Djibouti. Tarkash was, redeployed to Hodeidah on 06 Apr 15. The ship evacuated 74 personnel(including 20 foreign nationals) and disembarked the evacuees at Djibouti on 07 Apr 15

Relief Provided to Evacuees

During the transit from ports of embarkation to Djibouti, all evacuees were provided with food, water and accommodation. Ladies and children were accommodated in mess decks whilst men were provided sheltered areas on the upper decks. Additionally, personnel were provided medical attention and essential medicines. Requisite assistance was also provided to pregnant ladies, one person with a fracture (tibia and fibula) and two ladies for dehydration

Evacuees awaiting arrival of Tarkash

Evacuees awaiting arrival of Tarkash

Evacuees queue up for boarding Tarkash

Evacuees queue up for boarding Tarkash

Evacuees queue up for boarding Tarkash

Evacuees queue up for boarding Tarkash

Team Tarkash conducting smooth & structured embarkation

Team Tarkash conducting smooth & structured embarkation

Team Tarkash conducting smooth & structured embarkation

Team Tarkash conducting smooth & structured embarkation

Evacuees boarding Tarkash

Evacuees boarding Tarkash

Evacuees boarding Tarkash

Evacuees boarding Tarkash

Preliminary Medical Check-up onboard Tarkash

Preliminary Medical Check-up onboard Tarkash

Evacuees having lunch onboard Tarkash

Evacuees having lunch onboard Tarkash

Preliminary Medical Check-up onboard Tarkash

Evacuees having lunch onboard Tarkash

Preliminary Medical Check-up onboard Tarkash

Evacuees having lunch onboard Tarkash

Preliminary Medical Check-up onboard Tarkash

The raging civil war in Yemen has left thousands of people homeless and stranded. Military intervention by Saudi Arabia and other nations have further complicated the situation with aerial bombardments continuing relentlessly across the country. The airports and seaports of the country, with the exception of Al Hodeidah, have been thrown out of gear leaving very little room for movement of people from the strife-torn country.

The Indian Diaspora in Yemen comprises approximately 4000 people working in all walks of life, some of them working and earning a living there for decades. Most of them are located in and around the capital city of San’aa, which has seen much violence and has been under relentless attack. With the situation in the country deteriorating rapidly, the Indian Government ordered evacuation of Indian nationals from Yemen on 30 Mar 15.

MBI Rescue Operations At Yeman

MBI Rescue Operations At Yeman

MBI Rescue Operations At Yeman

MBI Rescue Operations At Yeman

The Indian Navy was first off the block, with INS Sumitra, one of the newest Offshore Patrol Vessels of the Indian Navy, being diverted immediately from her operational tasking in the Gulf of Aden. She immediately entered the Port of Aden and evacuated 349 Indians on 31 Mar 15 and transported them to Djibouti. During the evacuation operations at Aden, the ship reported bombing and gunfire and a general disorder, pandemonium and unrest. At Djibouti, the evacuated Indians were met by Gen (Retd) VK Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs, before they were airlifted to India by IAF C -17 aircraft.

In the meanwhile, two Indian passenger ships, MV Kavaratti and MV Corals, which normally ply between Kochi and the Lakshadweep Islands, were sailed out from Kochi towards Yemen. The guided-missile destroyer INS Mumbai and the guided-missile frigate INS Tarkash were also simultaneously sailed from Mumbai to meet up with the passenger ships at sea and to escort them to Djibouti. This was necessary as the waters of the Gulf of Aden have been piracy-infested since 2008.

MBI Rescue Operations At Yeman

After the first group of evacuees was disembarked at Djibouti, INS Sumitra was immediately despatched to the Port of Hodeidah on 02 Apr 15, from where the ship evacuated another 317 people (mostly Indian nationals) amidst aerial attacks on ground targets near the harbour. This second wave was transported to Djibouti on 03 Apr 15.

In the meanwhile, the civil war in the country reached the Port of Aden, which was engulfed in shelling and firing. Permission for entry of ships into Aden Harbour was not accorded by the local authorities as fighting raged in the port city. As more than 300 Indians were known to be awaiting evacuation from Aden, INS Mumbai was relieved of escort duties and was dispatched to reach off Aden, where she arrived in the early hours of 04 Apr 15, while INS Tarkash continued to escort the passenger ships, which reached Djibouti on 05 Apr 15 afternoon. In a well coordinated operation, 441 people, including foreign nationals, women, elderly persons and children were evacuated using boats from the Port of Aden to INS Mumbai, which stayed close to the shore to shorten the travel time of evacuees. The evacuees were transported to safety in Djibouti by the morning of 05 Apr 15. This evacuation was particularly critical, as the harbour was shelled the next day, killing a large number of people.

MBI Rescue Operations At Yeman

MBI Rescue Operations At Yeman

MBI Rescue Operations At Yeman

MBI Rescue Operations At Yeman

On 05 Apr 15, Sumitra undertook her third evacuation, this time from Ash Shi’hr, near Al Mukalla. The ship evacuated 203 personnel and is presently proceeding to Djibouti to disembark the evacuees. Meanwhile, Mumbai sailed from Djibouti in the evening of 05 Apr 15 and has arrived off the Port of Hodeidah on 06 Apr 15, where she is planned to evacuate a large group of Indian citizens.

All three Naval ships will continue to be deployed in rotation to the various ports of Yemen to evacuate as many Indian national as possible in the shortest possible time. In the best traditions of the Indian Navy, the crews of Naval ships involved in the operations have put the comfort and ease of the evacuees first, vacating their own accommodation for them, providing them hot meals, medical aid, assisting the elderly and ensuring their comfort during the passage to Djibouti.

MBI Rescue Operations At Yeman

MBI Rescue Operations At Yeman

In view of the prevailing situation in Yemen, the Indian Naval ships are in a high state of readiness and poised to tackle any threat that may emanate while they are undertaking this dangerous and sensitive mission. Indeed, the Chief of the Naval Staff has directed that IN ships will remain in the area till the last Indian is evacuated to safety.

MBI Rescue Operations At Yeman

The operation, codenamed by the Indian Navy as Op Rahat is likely to continue for several days more. The operation is being executed under the operational control of the Western Naval Command, headquartered at Mumbai. In an unprecedented show of synergy, the MEA, MoD and the Indian Navy are working in absolute synchronisation and real-time information is being exchanged with the ships on the scene through satellite communications.