Chinese fought pirates with "bottles, water cannon"

BEIJING Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:54am IST

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - The crew of a Chinese ship rescued from Somali pirates told on Thursday how they used water cannon and bottles to try to fight off their attackers before their rescue.

And a Chinese newspaper said China would send three ships to Somalia to prevent further attacks, but the report could not be independently confirmed.

A multilateral force rescued the Chinese ship, Zhenhua 4, from Somali pirates on Wednesday in a sign foreign navies patrolling the shipping lane linking Europe to Asia are adopting tougher new tactics.

The ship was one of four vessels seized by pirates on Tuesday, the same day the U.N. Security Council took a strong stand against the attacks and authorised countries to pursue the gunmen on land.

A Kenyan maritime group said the crew locked themselves in their cabins and radioed for help. A warship and two helicopters came and fired on the pirates, but did not kill them, it said.

"Seven of the nine pirates landed on our ship, all with weapons," Peng Weiyuan, the captain of Zhenhua 4, said in a telephone interview with China Central Television.

"Our crew, who had been well trained and prepared, used water cannon, self-made incendiary bombs, beer bottles and anything else that could be used to battle with them. Thirty minutes later, the pirates gestured to us for a ceasefire.

"Then the helicopter from the joint fleet came to help us."

Rampant piracy off the coast of Somalia this year has earned gunmen millions of dollars in ransom, hiked shipping insurance costs and caused international alarm.

The Global Times newspaper, a tabloid run by the Communist Party's People's Daily, said on Thursday two destroyers and a large-sized depot ship would set sail for the region after Christmas to defend Chinese shipping.

The first tour of duty would be for three months, it said.

According to Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers Assistance programme, there have been 124 incidents of piracy off Somali this year and some 60 successful hijacks.

Nearly 400 people and 19 ships are being held along the coast, including a Saudi supertanker with 2 million barrels of oil and a Ukrainian cargo ship with 33 tanks.

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Countering China

Countering China

PM Modi to ramp up help for Indian Ocean nations to counter China influence  Full Article 

'India's Daughter'

'India's Daughter'

Society created Delhi gang rape convicts: Filmmaker Leslee Udwin.  Full Article | Related Story 

Kohli Censured

Kohli Censured

BCCI warns Virat Kohli against repeat of misbehaviour.  Full Article 

MUDRA Bank

MUDRA Bank

Funding the unfunded: India helps small business borrow to grow  Full Article 

PML(N)'s Hope

PML(N)'s Hope

Pakistan's ruling party looks for gains in upper house election  Full Article 

For Women's Right

For Women's Right

Afghan men don burqas, take to the streets for women's rights.  Full Article 

U.S. Envoy Attacked

U.S. Envoy Attacked

Knife-wielding attacker slashes face of U.S. ambassador in South Korea  Full Article 

New Strategy

New Strategy

Ashwin mulls 'one-sided' ploy against big-hitters.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage