Shanghai “Zhenhua 7” encountered pirates in West Africa, 14 Chinese crew members kidnapped, whereabouts unknown

The merchant ship “Zhenhua 7” from Shanghai, China, was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, West Africa, last Friday (November 13) local time, with 27 crew members on board. The Italian navy sent marines aboard to rescue the ship after receiving a report that the pirates had already taken 14 crew members hostage and had fled.

According to the Italian Navy’s official website Saturday (14) reported that the incident occurred last Friday at 14:55 local time, the frigate “Martinengo” was on patrol in the Gulf of Guinea, received a distress call, that is, rushed to the pirate attack “Zhenhua 7”, which was attacked by pirates. “The merchant ship implemented assistance. When the Italian ship approached the attacked merchant ship, the pirates had already taken 14 crew members hostage and fled, so the ship sent a marine unit aboard to rescue one of the crew members, who suffered a gunshot wound to the foot and was transferred by helicopter to a nearby hospital in Sao Tome for treatment.

The report said that the hijacked “Zhenhua 7” originally had 27 crew members. The whereabouts of the 14 Chinese crew members who were taken are still unknown. The “Zhenhua 7” is now being escorted back to Sao Tome by the Italian Navy frigate.

At this time, there has been no response from the Chinese side on the missing Chinese crewmembers.

According to the data, the Chinese military set up a military base in the Gulf of Aden in 2017 in East Africa, where pirates are rampant, marking the birth of China’s first overseas military base. China said the establishment of overseas military bases is conducive to China’s escorting and conducting international rescues in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters.

As for the location of the ship, it is located in West Africa, which is the largest bay in Africa. According to the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center on the briefing, the past 9 days in the Gulf of Guinea, 8 pirate attacks occurred, including the “Zhenhua 7” incident, 2020, the Gulf of Guinea has occurred 21 kidnapping incidents, the total number of kidnapped crew in the Gulf of Guinea to 110 people.