Taiwan ship hijacked by Somali pirates, 1 other attacked
Somali pirates attacked one Taiwanese fishing vessel, injuring one Indonesian crew member, and took control of another, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday. The pirates chased the Jui Man Fa and fired shots at the vessel, hitting one man in the leg, late Wednesday evening, MOFA said. The ship escaped in the direction of the Maldives and the crew member was out of danger, reports said.
However, the pirates succeeded in taking control of another Taiwanese ship, the Jih Chun Tsai 68, according to comments by the captain of the Jui Man Fa to a Taiwanese radio station. There was no immediate information about the crew of the hijacked ship, which was registered in Tungkang, Pingtung County.
The attack against the Jui Man Fa happened about 395 nautical miles southeast of Cape Guardafui, when a relatively small ship disguised as a Taiwanese vessel approached the ship, reports said.
When the crew of the Jui Man Fa became aware of the ploy, it left the area as quickly as possible, MOFA said. During the escape, the pirates fired 50 to 60 shots at the Taiwanese ship, hitting the Indonesian crew member.
The crew counted two Taiwanese citizens and 12 Indonesians, MOFA said.
After a three-hour chase, the Taiwanese ship"s radar showed no presence of another vessel within 12 nautical miles. In order to guarantee the crew"s safety, the captain decided to set course for the Maldives more than 100 hours away, MOFA said.
The ministry said the injured crew member would receive medical care as soon as the Jui Man Fa reached the Maldives, an independent island nation in the Indian Ocean south of India. The international anti-piracy authorities had been alerted to the fate of the Taiwanese ship, MOFA said.
Thursday"s clash was not the first incident between Somali pirates and Taiwanese fishermen. The tuna long-liner Win Far 161 spent ten months in pirates" hands until returning home after the payment of a ransom last February.