The crew of a cargo ship have been praised by authorities for fighting off armed pirates with boiling water and oil. Around 12 pirates are reported to have attacked the Philippine ship, MV Kudos, as it sailed near Sibago Island, in the Basilan region.
The 22 crew members were able to keep control of the vessel by throwing hot water and oil over the gunmen.
The attackers used three motorboats to surround the ship in an attempt to abduct crew members for ransom
The ship was carrying steel from Davao to Manila. The crew were able to send out a distress signal and hold the pirates back for long enough for the Coast Guard and Navy to arrive. Authorities were able to escort the ship safely towards the port of Zamboanga City.
Coastal authorities praised the courage of the sailors, two of whom suffered minor injuries in the attack, according to Coast Guard Western Mindanao Command Chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr. In a statement he said:
“We were pleased that the crew did not lose their presence of mind,”
“Their raw courage enabled them to pour hot water to the pirates who were already attempting to climb the vessel.”
Some reports of the failed hijacking suggested the group responsible is Abu Sayyaf, a regional affiliate of the extremist organization Islamic State (ISIS). A year ago, the group tried to pull off a similar assault, using two speedboats to board a cargo vessel sailing in the same area, heading towards Davao City.
Waters near the Philippines have become a popular hotspot for maritime outlaws, driven in part by the Islamist militant group’s activities. Last year, 22 incidents were recorded in the Philippines – more than double the number of sea attacks in 2016.
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