Source: Taiwan Today
A Taiwanese fishing boat hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean has successfully escaped to safety, the Council of Agriculture’s Fisheries Agency said Nov. 6.
The crew of the Chin Yi Wen, taken hostage Nov. 4 by six pirates armed with AK-47 rifles while fishing off the coast of Somalia, managed to subdue the villains and regain control of the ship the following day, according to an FA press release.
Three of the 28 crewmembers—composed of nine mainland Chinese nationals, eight Filipinos, six Indonesians and five Vietnamese—were slightly injured while fighting the pirates, said the FA.
According to the FA, after it learned of the hijacking it immediately requested help from the International Maritime Bureau and the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations.
The fishing boat rendezvoused with an anti-piracy vessel and British jet sent by the UKMTO at 4 a.m. Nov. 6 (Taipei time) and the three injured were given medical treatment, it added.
The boat is now being escorted to the Republic of Seychelles and is expected to reach shore within 40 hours, according to the FA.
“This is a highly unusual case, in that the vessel was able to escape from the heavily armed Somali pirates,” the FA said. “As the area off the coast of Somalia is rife with pirates, all Taiwanese fishing boats are urged to stay away from it to avoid any loss of property or lives.”
The agency also called on those fishing in the Indian Ocean to stay alert and heighten safety measures in case of emergency.
Somali pirates are notorious for hijacking vessels and demanding huge ransoms for the release of hostages. Their actions have seriously disrupted international shipping operations in recent years, according to the FA. (HZW)
By Rachel Chan