Twenty five seamen abducted by Somali pirates aboard the Chinese bulk carrier `DE XIN HAI’ returned to the ship’s hometown of Qingdao, a coastal city in Shandong province on January 8.
According to Miao Shengying, Director of the Party Committee Office of Qingdao Ocean Shipping, the 25 crew members arrived in Qingdao by flight SC4690 at 12:10 on January 8. They are all currently recovering in the First Qingdao Sanatorium of Jinan Military Command after meeting their relatives on arrival.
"They are in normal physical and mental conditions. The company has sent professional psychological consultants to give them psychological intervention. Their future work will not be affected,” said Miao.
"We are informed of the latest news by relevant staffs of the company every day. I am very grateful for the Chinese government and the company", said the wife of the captain of the abducted ship.
`DE XIN HAI` was hijacked in the Indian Ocean, 350 nautical miles northeast of the Seychelles and 700 nautical miles off the east coast of Somalia, prime territory for marauding pirates on October 19, 2009. The pirates had threatened that they would kill all the crew members if the Chinese navy attempted to rescue them by force.
After the incident, the Chinese government and Qingdao Ocean Shipping, who own the cargo vessel, actively carried out rescue efforts to ensure the safety of the hostages. With their joint efforts, the hijacked ship with all crew members was set free safely and sailed to the safe waters under the escort of the Chinese navy on December 28.
By Wang Qian (China Daily Shandong Bureau)
Editor: Li Jing