The Chinese navy is taking a very stern approach to piracy incidents off the Horn of Africa. When the oil tanker Alheera, owned by UAE’s Gulf Energy, was attacked off Yemen in the Gulf of Aden on Saturday, Splash understands two of the assailants were killed in the botched hijacking attempt.
According to a report by the Chinese navy, the 10,000 dwt vessel was attacked by five armed pirates onboard a motorised skiff, who tried to board the vessel and fired several shots towards the accommodation area of the ship. The Chinese navy frigate Hengyang received a distress call from the vessel and rushed to the hijacked ship one hour later and drove pirates away from the tanker.
Somali officials in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland reported that two of the attackers were shot dead by the Chinese navy in the rescue mission, something not confirmed by the navy.
On April 9, the Chinese navy ship Yulin rescued another cargo ship OS35 from pirate attack in a joint operation with the Indian navy. During this naval operation one of Somalia’s most feared pirates was reportedly captured and detained and has not been seen since.