The Maritime Safety Administration of China (MSAC) has warned
Chinese ships to be vigilant against piracy in Somali waters.
The MSAC issued an urgent circular on Tuesday instructing
Chinese ship-owners, shipping companies and captains to be on high
alert for piracy and adopt necessary measures according to relevant
procedures issued by the International Maritime Organization and
the MSAC's advisory.
The circular said since 1991, piracy in the waters off the coast
of Somalia has been rampant. Statistics from the International
Maritime Bureau show that pirates have moved from inshore waters to
the high seas 200 sea miles from the coast.
Zhai Jiugang, an official with the China Maritime Search and
Rescue Center, said this month alone six piracy cases had been
reported in Somali waters, including a Taiwan fishing vessel
hijacked on May 16, with four Taiwanese sailors and eight workers
from the Chinese mainland aboard.
The MSAC urged Chinese crews to monitor information on pirate
activities in Somali waters and be vigilant when passing through
those areas. Shipping companies should report to the China Maritime
Search and Rescue Center immediately on learning of pirate attacks.
It also advised captains to avoid Somali waters if possible.
(Xinhua News Agency May 23, 2007)