The "pirate mother ship" blown out of the water by the Indian navy in the Gulf of Arden last week was actually a Thai fishing trawler that had been seized by the pirates, the International Herald Tribune reports. The boat's owner learned of the mistake when a surviving crew member was rescued after holding on to a floating barrel for five days. Fourteen others are missing and presumed dead.
"The Indian navy assumed it was a pirate vessel because they may have seen armed pirates on board the boat, which had been hijacked earlier," said an official from the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center. A spokesman for the Indian navy defended the sinking, saying it had received threats from the vessel and acted accordingly.