Philippines units pursue failed hi-jackers

Maritime units in the region of Zamboanga City, Philippines, have increased resources allocated to searching the waters off Basilan island following a failed hi-jacking attempt on a Philippine vessel that lost propulsion late last Friday February 16th, reported Manila Bulletin.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) received a distress call from the Presidential Management Staff and other agencies of government seeking assistance over an attempt to hi-jack general cargo ship Kudos 1.

Coast Guard Southwestern District commander Ronnie Gil Gavan said that the Coast Guard dispatched two of its water crafts as augmentation to the Navy ship and aircraft response.

Coast Guard personnel boarded Kudos 1 upon reaching the vessel’s location, providing medical assistance and first aid to some of its crew members who suffered minor bruises from broken objects when they were fired upon by the armed group. No one was abducted.

By midnight on Friday the Kudos and all its crew members were declared safe and were escorted by MMRV 4402 and the navy ship PC386 to Zamboanga City anchorage.

“We were pleased that the crew did not lose their presence of mind. Their raw courage enabled them to pour hot water to the pirates who were already attempting to climb the vessel,” said Lieutenant General Carlito G Galvez, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command. “Their action was also instrumental in foiling the seajacking attempt.”

Coast Guard and Navy vessels and units are still in the vicinity conducting maritime patrol and pursuit operations. Galvez said that Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard units would continue their joint maritime patrol and pursuit operations to ensure that the culprits involved in the foiled attempt were “neutralized”.