Zhenhua 4: Once more, without Germans

Nine pirates boarded the Zhenhua 4 on Dec. 31, 2008, but were forced off the ship by Capt Peng Weiyuan and his crew after they mounted an unexpected fightback.
"We had a lot of beer bottles and we made a lot of cocktail [petrol] bombs," said Capt Peng. "We were well prepared. We threw them at them.

"After the first attack they retreated but somehow they got very good weapons - anti-tank weapons - which they fired at us, and succeeded in coming up to our living quarters.

"They came to the first platform which is very close to our living quarters.

"We were locked inside and the door was very thick. They were shouting 'open the door'. So we climbed further up and we used everything to threaten them, bottles, petrol.

"Eventually we used high-pressure water cannon to shoot at them. They were also shooting at us and one bullet passed me about 10in (25cm) away.

"Eventually they retreated, they couldn't fight any more. There was smoke, there was fire."
The captain described how the defeated pirates made some unexpected requests as they prepared to leave the Zhenhua 4.

"The head of the pirates said 'stop, stop, we can't go on fighting any more. Let us go'. And I said: 'We will let you go. Leave our ship'."
Photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, which says it shows pirates aiming weapons at the deck of the Chinese ship Zhenhua on 17/12/08
The pirates were well-armed, the ship's captain said

Mr Peng said that the pirates then asked for shoes because they were barefoot and the deck was covered in broken glass.

Pairs of leather shoes were thrown to them and the pirates retreated - only to return a few minutes later asking for fuel for their speedboats.

Capt Peng added that while the fighting was going on [German]helicopters appeared overhead and started firing at the pirates.

"They helped us succeed," he said.

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