Skip to comments.Chinese crew outwit hijackers to save ship
Posted on 04/08/2012 10:41:54 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
The crew of a hijacked mainland cargo ship were yesterday praised for their bravery and quick thinking in helping thwart a hijacking by Somali pirates off the southern coast of Iran.
The Iranian Navy rescued all 28 crew late on Friday, less than nine hours after the Panamanian-registered Xianghuamen, owned by the Nanjing Ocean Shipping Company, was seized 20 nautical miles south of the Iranian port of Chabahar.
The crew were able to disconnect the ship's power supply before the AK-47-wielding hijackers overran the ship, preventing it from being taken away.
The ship's captain and five crew later evaded their captors and slipped overboard, swimming about two nautical miles to the Iranian Navy ship where they raised the alarm, China National Radio said.
"China's ambassador in Tehran, Yu Hongyang, has been in touch with the crew and congratulated them on their safe rescue on behalf of the central committee of the China Communist Party, the State Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," the Chinese embassy said in Tehran.
The Xianghuamen sailed from Shanghai with a cargo of steel and unspecified equipment. After unloading some of its cargo in Singapore, it was bound for Port Khomeini when it was hijacked by the nine Somali pirates in the Gulf of Oman.
Yu told Xinhua that the pirates approached the ship in several speedboats while firing their guns. "The pirates used their own ladders to climb aboard and take the 28 crew hostage," Yu said.
On hearing of the attack, the Chinese embassy immediately asked Iran for military assistance, while contacting the ships' owner for the crew manifest, Yu said. Iranian warships were dispatched and located the freighter that afternoon. Two warships trailed the freighter, which the pirates initially had ordered to head for Somalia, Yu said.
"The Chinese crew were very brave and clever," Yu said. "They disabled the ship's engine when the pirates were not looking and it began drifting without power on the tide."
In a phone interview with China National Radio, the captain of the Xianghuamen, who was not named, recounted how the bravery of some crew members had saved their lives.
"I talked with the chief mate and chief engineers. We agreed that we couldn't let the pirates take the ship to Somalia, as it would take a long time for us and the ship to be rescued. There we might even be killed," he said. "So we cut off the contingent power and the ship stopped."
The captain said the pirates became enraged and beat some of the crew, but no one was badly hurt.
Later, the captain and five crew members slipped overboard and swam to the Iran warship to tell them what was happening. When the warship then sent an armed boarding party, the pirates abandoned their plan to seize the ship and jumped overboard. The Iranians captured them and took them to the warship, the captain said.
The crew were "emotionally stable" and were able to talk to their families via satellite phone, the captain said.
Mu Ling, chairman of Nanjing Ocean Shipping, said yesterday that the company would award each crew member US$10,000 for their bravery in outwitting the pirates and saving the ship, China News Service said.
“Mu Ling, chairman of Nanjing Ocean Shipping, said yesterday that the company would award each crew member US$10,000 for their bravery in outwitting the pirates and saving the ship, China News Service said.”
Western antions these days would probably reprimand them for unauthorized resistance.
It reads like a pre-justification for military cooperation between the Chinese and the Iranians.
Confucius say man who swim from pirates in shark-infested waters lose junk.
That could well be. I found it odd that the Iranians were helping anyone for any reason. Their strong suit is spreading disorder rather than suppressing it.
Interesting take. You are probably on to something.
Is that enough for a “VOLT” in China??
This might be one hijacking that would have been a good thing.
The ship was headed for Iran and was only 20 miles offshore from Iran.
Ship must have been carrying much needed equipment for Iran's "civilian" nuclear facilities.
If a $10,000USD bounty was set for every Somali, Muzzie pirate the problem would be taken care of in very short order!
It's already going on.
That's the reason that Russia and China have put a stop to Obama's support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria.
The US is being warned off. Future Iran oil will be redirected from Western Europe to China, and Russia will begin starving Western Europe of oil and gas until NATO and the EU go away.
There will be no US missile defense systems for Western Europe, but Russia will move to increase safety for Israel by controlling Iran. Not so for Saudi Arabia, times will be getting tough for Russia's oil competitor unless they make nice with China and Russia's oil policy.
I found it odd the Iranians didn’t shoot the Chinese on sight.
Was this just for show or real?
I agree with anothet poster saying that Western nations would have repremanded the sailors for resistsnce.
Bravo to the brave Chinese.
What happened to the self proclaimed according to the their own commericial worlds ocean policeman the US Navy?
It just shows how weak the Iranian navy is. Geeze. It took them 48 hours to storm and conduct the operation.
But, more importantly, where did the speed boats come from? Was there an obvious mother ship around or did they come from a neighboring port. We are talking about the Gulf of Oman, which is no small distance from Somalia. I know Somali pirates have attacked around the Maldives and the Indian Ocean.
It is poor form to shoot your best remaining customer
Sure they thwarted the hijackers, but an hour later they were hijacked again.
The shipment was going to Iran.