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Un barco chino, el Zhenua 4, repele un ataque pirata lanzando cervezas

Posted by jonkepa en diciembre 19, 2008

pirates_451602aA Chinese sailor lines up his ammunition – beer bottles – to defend against the pirates.

The crew of a Chinese ship attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia have described how they used beer bottles and water cannon to fend off their attackers before they were rescued.

The ship, Zhenua 4, was one of four vessels seized by pirates on Wednesday, shortly after the UN Security Council authorised countries to pursue the renegades by land as well as by air.

Nine pirates armed with rocket launchers and machine guns boarded the ship, according to Xinhua, China’s state news agency.

The vessel’s 30 crew members fought for four hours with home-made incendiary bombs and beer bottles, said an official with China Maritime Search and Rescue Centre.

he pirates abandoned their attempt to take the ship when a multilateral force, including a warship and two helicopters, arrived after the crew locked themselves in their cabins and radioed for help.

«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.»

Pirates have carried out more than 100 attacks on the shipping lanes of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean this year, earning themselves as much as $120 million a year and losing the shipping industry millions.

At least 16 ships are being held for ransom close to the pirate lairs of Eyl and Haradheere. Among them are the Sirius Star, a Saudi supertanker loaded with $100 million (£67 million) of crude oil, and the Faina, a Ukrainian cargo ship carrying 30 Soviet-era tanks bound for southern Sudan.

The revelations of the Chinese crew come as China said that it would send a warship to the Gulf of Aden to join international efforts to curb the pirates.

The country’s announcement that it would join the fight against piracy was greeted enthusiastically by the head of Pacific Command.

Admiral Timothy Keating said that it would lead to a revival in military relations between China and the US. «I hope the Chinese do [send ships to the Gulf of Aden] and we’ll work closely with them,» he said. «I think this could be a springboard for a resumption of dialogue between PLA forces and US Pacific Command forces.»

China suspended military contacts with the United States in October in protest over US arms sales to Taiwan valued at $6.5 billion.

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