Photo from Myanmar Eye
Somalian pirates have struck again! The unfortunate victims this time are 19 Chinese on board a Singapore-flagged cargo ship called The Golden Blessing. It was traveling to India from Saudi Arabia with a hold full of glycol ethylene when it got caught in the Gulf of Aden.
This will be the second time this year China has run afoul of pirates. In May, a China-bound oil tanker was caught by these wiley seafarers with crude oil worth $52 million on board. While the 23 captured crew members were Russian, the “oil is Chinese. It belongs to Unipec. It was sailing to [the Chinese] port of Ningbo.”
In fact, this new case gives off a strange sense of deja vu. Around October last year, pirates hijacked the De Xin Hai and its 25 Chinese crew members in almost the exact same location. Back then, they threatened to execute the whole crew if China attempted a rescue. In response, China sent out some navy ships and (though they didn’t mention it in state media) gave the pirates $4 million in ransom money.
So what will China do this time? The 19 crew members are said to be safe and Singapore is “working with relevant government agencies and the ship owner, and is monitoring the situation closely.” Meanwhile, the China Marine Rescue Center said rescue efforts were already underway, though they refused to disclose details. They also urged Chinese vessels to strengthen anti-piracy measures.
But really, what’s a Chinese vessel to do? Here’s the only two methods that seem to have worked so far:
- Hold those damn pirates off with molotov cocktails until the helicopters arrive.
- Dolphins. Lots and lots and lots of dolphins.