BASILAN, Philippines – Quick-thinking crewmembers of a cargo ship helped foil a seajacking attempt in Basilan waters on Friday night, February 16, by pouring hot water on pirates that tried to board their vessel.
Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr, Western Mindanao Command Commander, said on Saturday, February 17, lauded the crew of cargo ship M/V Kudos, which was in the vicinity of Coco and Sibago islands in Basilan late Friday when pirates launched the attack.
“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,” Galvez said.
“Their action was also instrumental in foiling the seajacking attempt," he added.
Wesmincom said it received distress calls from the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) and other government agencies on Friday night, seeking assistance for Philippine-flag vessel M/V Kudos which was under pirate attack.
Wesmincom activated the Anti-Kidnaping Joint Task Force under Rear Admiral Rene Medina, Naval Forces Western Mindanao chief, who deployed 5 Navy vessels to the area.
The Philippine Coast Guard under Captain Ronnie Gil Gavan, commander of the Coast Guard Southwestern District, dispatched two vessels to augment the Navy team.
"We immediately alerted all units and deployed our assets to thwart the attack on M/V Kudos on Sibago,” said Medina.
He added that the Philippine Air Force dispatched two aircrafts to conduct an aerial survey and patrol of the area.
“Sensing that the crew of their target vessel could have sent distress call to government security forces, the pirates scampered away before the former swooped down on them," Medina said.
The military and the Coast Guard established radio contact with M/V Kudos crew at 11:25 pm on Friday.
Upon reaching the vessel, Coast Guard personnel treated crewmembers who sustained minor injuries during the attack. No crewmember was abducted.
By midnight, the ship and its crewmembers were declared safe. Navy ships escorted the vessel to the Zamboanga City anchorage area, and arrived at the Zamboanga port at 2:41 am on Saturday, February 17.
M/V Kudos is operated by Kudos Domestic Shipping Corporation, which is based in Davao City and owned by businessman Johnny L. Ng. – Rappler.com