Foreign and Military Affairs

Hijacked Chinese sailors rescued

Updated: 2011-05-06 09:14


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Hijacked Chinese sailors rescued

MV Full City was attacked by pirates some 450 nautical miles off the coast of Mumbai in India. [File Photo]

BEIJING - The hijacked 24 Chinese sailors on a Panama-registered bulk cargo ship have been rescued, the Ministry of Transport said in a report on its website Friday.

The vessel, Full City, was rescued at 23:25 on Thursday by the US marine and Turkish rescue team, the ministry said, citing the China Sea Rescue Center. The Chinese sailors are safe and in good condition, the report said.

Pirates attacked the vessel Thursday noon some 450 nautical miles off the coast of India's Mumbai and 750 nautical miles east of the area where the Chinese Navy convoy fleet was assembled, the center said Thursday.

Andrew Mwangura, Maritime Editor for Somalia Report said the pirates were forced to leave the ship after they unsuccessfully tried to take control of the ship and panicked the moment they saw naval ship patrolling the area.

"The pirates entered the MV Full City at midday on Thursday but the crew members confined themselves on seatbelt forcing the pirates to leave the ship after they reportedly saw naval ship which was patrolling the area," Mwangura told Xinhua by telephone from Mombasa.

The Gulf of Aden, which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, is the quickest route for more than 20,000 vessels traveling annually between Asia, Europe and the Americas.

However, attacks by heavily armed Somali pirates on speedboats have prompted some of the world's largest shipping firms to switch routes from the Suez Canal and reroute cargo vessels around southern Africa, causing more shipping costs.



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