The Chinese Navy, escorting a Philippine-flagged chemical tanker recently released by Somali pirates, foiled an attempt yesterday by armed brigands to recapture the ship on its way to safe waters, a Philippine official said today.Before that incident, the Stolt Strength ran out of fuel and had to be refueled by the U.S. Navy, as set out a here:
Elena Bautista, Philippine Maritime Industry Authority Administrator, said a group of pirates on two vessels were able to close in on the MT Stolt Strength with 23 all-Filipino crewmen, but the Chinese frigate Huangshan thwarted the attack when it deployed helicopters to encircle the area.
"There was a mother ship and another vessel. They were able to reach the Stolt Strength's flanks but because of the decisive act of the Chinese, they drove the pirates away after immediately deploying choppers," Bautista said.
The MT Stolt Strength, which was stranded in the western part of the Indian Ocean, has started moving after being replenished with fuel on Saturday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported.A German ship provided food and other aid.
"The MT Stolt Strength is now on the way to its next port of call," the DFA said in a statement.
It said the fuel and other provisions were delivered to the Philippine flag registered cargo vessel by a US navy vessel.
"We wish to extend our gratitude to our partners for the immediate provisioning of and round the clock security protection to the Stolt Strength, notably Germany, the US, China, NATO and many others," the DFA said.