China thanks Indian Navy`s for help in rescuing sailors

China thanked navies of India, US and Turkey for rescuing sailors from Somali pirates.

Updated: May 11, 2011, 21:21 PM IST

Beijing: China on Wednesday expressed its
"heartfelt gratitude" to the navies of India, US and Turkey
for their efforts in saving 24 Chinese sailors from falling
into the hands of Somali pirates and said international
community should work more closely in fighting sea menace.

With the joint efforts of all the sides, 24 Chinese
sailors of Panama-registered vessel `Fu Cheng`, which was
hijacked by Somalian pirates have already been safely rescued,
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said in a
statement here today.

"We sincerely appreciate this and express our
heartfelt gratitude to Turkey, US & India. The international
community must continue to strengthen international
cooperation in fighting against sea piracy and jointly
safeguard maritime security in the concerned region," she

Jiang`s comments came after 24 Chinese sailors on a
hijacked Panama-registered bulk cargo ship were rescued last
week. Pirates attacked the vessel, Full City, last Thursday
some 450 nautical miles off the coast of Mumbai.

The Chinese sailors managed to escape as they locked
themselves in a safe room after pirates took over the ship.

The pirates, however, fled after an Indian maritime
reconnaissance plane which flew over the ship warned them that
naval ships were on their way to rescue the vessel.

According to Chinese officials 51 sailors from the
Chinese mainland are now in the custody of pirates.
In all, Somalian pirates are holding 338 sailors in
custody from various countries besides 26 vessels in

So far this year, pirates have attacked 118 vessels
and hijacked 20 ships.

In the past week, they assaulted two ships with
Chinese sailors on board, Xu Zuyuan, Chinese Vice-Minister of
Transport said few days ago.