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PLA Navy rescues ship in pirate infested waters

By Zhao Lei | | Updated: 2017-04-09 21:09

The 25th Escort Fleet of the People's Liberation Army Navy rescued a Tuvalu-flagged cargo ship from pirates on Sunday morning in the Gulf of Aden, according to the Navy.

The fleet was told on Saturday afternoon by United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, which coordinates safe passage for merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden, that the freighter OS35, registered in the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, had been hijacked by an unknown number of pirates. The fleet commander immediately ordered the CNS Yulin, a guided missile frigate to approach the OS35, said a news release from the Navy.

The Yulin arrived at midnight in the waters where the cargo ship was and sent a helicopter to observe the situation on the OS35. Chinese officers also made contact with the freighter's 19 crew members, who were hiding in a secured cabin. Early Sunday morning, with helicopter reconnaissance, 16 members of the PLA Navy's special task force took a boat to board the Tuvalu vessel and take the crew out of the cabin.

The OS35's crew is now under the protection of the Chinese Navy, the news release said, adding that Chinese military personnel searched the ship but no pirates were found.

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