Sat, Nov 05, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Fishing boat might have been hijacked by pirates

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs last night said a Taiwanese-flagged long-line fishing boat might have been hijacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean off Somalia.

Citing information from the owner of the Ching Yi Wen, registered in Greater Kaohsiung, the ministry said the boat was heading toward the Somalian coast at full speed when it lost contact with the fishing company.

The vessel was suspected to have been seized by Somalian pirates at 2am yesterday morning near the Seychelles, about 595 nautical miles (1,800km) off the southeast coast of Mogadishu, the ministry said in a press release.

There were 28 people on board, including Chinese captain Ren Hai (任海), nine Chinese crew members, five Vietnamese, six Indonesians and eight Filipinos, it said.

The incident has been reported to the Piracy Reporting Center at the International Maritime Organization’s International Maritime Bureau in Kuala Lumpur and help has been sought from the UK Maritime Trade Organisation as well as other groups, the ministry said.

The ministry also instructed its missions in South Africa, the UK, the US, France, the EU, Malaysia, and Dubai to request that those governments help rescue the ship, it said.

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