Pirates repelled by boiling water

The crew of a ship passing through the southern Philippines repelled a pirate attack on Friday using boiling water mixed with oil.

Twenty-seven sailors aboard the general cargo vessel Kudos 1 managed to stop 12 armed pirates trying to board the ship in the Basilan sea. The Philippines Coast Guard reports the pirates shot at the ship with two of seafarers slightly injured.

Coast Guard Western Mindanao Command Chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez praised the courage of the sailors.

“We were pleased that the crew did not lose their presence of mind,” he said in a statement.

“Their raw courage enabled them to pour hot water to the pirates who were already attempting to climb the vessel.”

Coast Guard and Navy vessels rushed to the scene after receiving a distress signal, and escorted the ship to safety.

The Philippine-flagged vessel was carrying steel bound for Manila from the southern Davao port when attacked.

The southern Philippines remains one of the world’s hotspots for pirate attacks.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Once when I was a second mate, robbers tried to board our ship while at anchor. They were right below the starboard bridge wing. While I sounded the general alarm, I also filled water in the bucket used for mopping the deck- and dropped it down into the boat. The force of a full steel bucket was enough to shatter the keel of the wooden boat. The robbers abandoned their attempt to board the ship and made a hasty exit.

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