Chinese sailor recalls Somali pirates horror
A Chinese sailor, who spent 202 days being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia, has told of his fear and horror while in captivity, with the worst moment coming when one of his crew mates was murdered.world Updated: Jan 06, 2009 00:13 IST
A Chinese sailor, who spent 202 days being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia, has told of his fear and horror while in captivity, with the worst moment coming when one of his crew mates was murdered.
“I will never go back to sea,” Jiang Lichun, 25, was quoted as saying in the state-run China Daily newspaper on Monday. Pirates took control of a Taiwan-registered fishing vessel, with Jiang and 10 other crew members on board, as it was sailing 220 nautical miles off Somalia’s coast on April 18 last year.
Jiang said the heavily armed pirates came aboard from three speedboats, and appeared to know exactly what to do as they had the crew inside the captain’s room within a few minutes.
“I heard the captain scream ‘run’,” Jiang said, but added there was no time to react after the pirates fired gunshots.
Jiang told the China Daily that the pirates frequently beat the crew, but the most terrifying period came when one of his fellow sailors was murdered after the ship’s owner refused to pay a $300,000 ransom.
Chen Tao, 32, who was from the same northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning as Jiang, was reportedly taken up to the deck of the ship on May 25.
“We heard six gunshots but no one could believe Chen was dead,” Jiang said, according to the paper, but then the sailors were also allowed on deck and saw it was covered with blood.
After Chen’s murder, “we thought no one would leave the ship alive”, Jiang was quoted as saying.