Media recounts sailors' dramatic escape during 'real pirate movie'

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The China Post news staff

The action-packed escape of crew members onboard a Taiwanese fishing boat from Somali pirates late Saturday was widely covered by local media and was dubbed by a newspaper as a “real life pirate movie.”

The 260-ton Kaohsiung-registered Chin Yi Wen was hijacked by six pirates armed with AK47 assault rifles on Friday when working in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Seychelles. The crew managed to overpower their captors and regain control of the fishing boat, the Fisheries Agency said in a written statement.

The China Times reported a much-detailed account of the dramatic escape, which the newspaper described as the real life version of the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” and the first example of the crew of a Taiwanese fishing boat escaping pirates on their own.

The newspaper quoted fishing boat owner Liu Wan-dong as saying that the mainland Chinese captain of the vessel, Ren Hai, led his crew (none of them Taiwanese in nationality) to take the pirates by surprise while they were eating.

The crew apparently benefited from the lax monitoring by the pirates, who did not tie up the crew and allowed them to stay in the same room guarded by pirates holding guns. Ren caught a break when the guards put down their rifles to have lunch. He quietly coordinated the surprise attack, dividing the 28 men into two teams with one aimed for the rifles, the China Times reported without specifying the other group's function.

A scuffle between the captors and captives ensued. The crew managed to secure the firearms and drove the pirates off the boat in a fight that lasted about one minute, the newspaper pointed out. The overpowered pirates were picked up by their mother ship and left.

Three of the crew, including the captain, sustained minor injuries in the fight. Not knowing how to use firearms, the crew later threw the AK47s overboard. They decided to continue their work soon after wounded members had received medical care from officers onboard vessels sent by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the newspaper quoted Liu as saying.

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