Hanjin Tianjin: Turks scare, pirates abandon ship

Turkish frigate, TCG Giresun, of NATO’s counter-piracy taskforce, just 80 miles away from the container ship at the time of the pirate attack, first arrived at the scene. It provided necessary information to help South Korea’s 4,500-ton destroyer Choi Young which arrived at the scene at 4:40 p.m..
Naval commandos of the Cheonghae Unit, a South Korean anti-piracy contingent operating off the Somali coast, boarded the 75,000-ton Hanjin Tianjin and found that all crew members remained unharmed inside the citadel, a bulletproof safety zone in the ship.

The commandos searched the vessel with 14 South Koreans and six Indonesians aboard and found no pirates aboard, officials said.

The Panamanian-registered ship owned by South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co. lost contact at around 5:15 a.m. Thursday when it was in waters some 460 miles east of the Somali coast. It was sailing from Spain to Singapore.

The crew members were found in the zone at around 7:30 p.m. and are currently in good health, officials said.

The commandos also discovered three live bullets of AK rifles presumed to be owned by Somali pirates and multiple footprints of bare feet, all of which indicate that pirates attempted to hijack the vessel, officials said.


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