The story appears on

Page A4

November 11, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Homecoming for sailors

THE 19 Chinese sailors who were aboard a Singapore-owned freighter hijacked by Somali pirates in June arrived in good health at Pudong International Airport yesterday afternoon.

The sailors were hired by Shanghai Dingheng Shipping Corporation, which chartered the Singapore-flagged cargo carrier Golden Blessing. The crew was abducted and confined to their cabins after the vessel was seized by pirates on June 28 in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia.

The pirates released the sailors along with the vessel on November 6 after months of negotiations.

Chinese authorities have not said how much was paid in return for their release. But according to Shanghai Dingheng's manager, the sum was in the millions of yuan.

The sailors were onboard a Qatar Airways flight from Doha, Qatar, which landed at 2:40pm yesterday at Pudong airport, said airport immigration police.

The youngest crew members, apprentice sailors Tang Liyuan and Deng Junlong, are both seniors from a Hubei Province vocational college and were on their first voyage when Golden Blessing was attacked.

"I want to thank my country for being able to return home safe," Tang was quoted as saying by the immigration police at the airport. "I also need to thank my captain."

According to officers, Tang said the pirates had intended to kill him as he had an intense conflict with them soon after they were hijacked. Tang told the officers that the captain stood up and protected him.

Airport security was tight for their return and the media was not allowed to interview the sailors. Government workers escorted them through a VIP passage and entry procedures were competed on the apron instead of in the terminal, immigration officers told Shanghai Daily.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend