Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Capt Peng of Zhenhua 4 recalls pirate attack

Image taken by unnamed member of the crew of the Zhenhua 4,
showing two of the Somali pirates who tried to hijack the vessel (CCTV)Image taken by unnamed member of the crew of the Zhenhua 4, found at Modern Day Pirate Tales

That the crew of the Zhenhua 4 was able to successfully defend against a pirate attack using homemade weapons was of interest itself. (gcaptain coverage here )

There is a couple of interesting details about the attackers in the article China sailor recalls pirate fight - the pirates were armed with anti-tank weapons but were barefooted and low on fuel:

The captain described how the defeated pirates made some unexpected requests as they prepared to leave the Zhenhua 4.

"The head of the pirates said 'stop, stop, we can't go on fighting any more. Let us go'. And I said: 'We will let you go. Leave our ship'."

Mr Peng said that the pirates then asked for shoes because they were barefoot and the deck was covered in broken glass.

Pairs of leather shoes were thrown to them and the pirates retreated - only to return a few minutes later asking for fuel for their speedboats.

This attack appears to be much less determined then the attack on the Biscaglia (my post) My guess is that piracy in the Gulf of Aden is an entrepreneurial free for all. Had these pirates succeeded in taking the Zhenhua 4 it would have been turned over to another party to handle the ransom. From EagleSpeak:

The successful seizure of a vessel marks a new phase in a piracy operation. The first pirate to physically board the ship may “claim” it in the name of his (usually clan-based) militia group, and is rewarded with a special share of the ransom or in some cases — a Land Cruiser. If they have not done so already, the financier must identify a sponsor (or team of sponsors) who will underwrite the costs of the operation in exchange for a share of the ransom.


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