The bulk carrier OS 35 was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden last night. The vessel sent distress signal, which was received by the Indian Navy, which deployed two warships to the scene of the accident. Navies of China, Italy and Pakistan were also operating in the area when the alert was sent out, but the Indians were the first to respond. Chinese Navy also came to the help of the ship while the Indian Navy provided air cover. The Chinese special forces moved in for the rescue operation and 18 of its members boarded the ship to sanitise it. The pirates succeeded to abandon the bulk carrier and fled away, while the captain and the crew had locked themselves into the citadel and were unharmed.
“In a show of international maritime cooperation against piracy, a boarding party from the nearby Chinese Navy ship went on board the merchant ship, while the Indian Naval helicopter provided air cover for the operation”, said the official statement of the Chinese navy. “It has been established that all 19 Filipino crew members are safe”, added the statement.
Neither pirates nor any skiff were, however, detected, indicating that pirates had fled as security forces moved in.
The bulk carrier OS 35 (IMO: 9172399) has overall length 178.00 m, moulded beam of 28.00 m and maximum draft of 12.00 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 35,362 DWT and the gross tonnage is 20,947 GRT. The ship is oeprating under the flag of Tuvalu and was built in 1989.