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Hijacked Taiwanese fishing boat escapes safely: agency

Hijacked Taiwanese fishing boat escapes safely: agency

Taipei, Nov. 6 (CNA) A Taiwanese fishing boat that was hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean earlier escaped to safety around 4 a.m. Sunday with the assistance of British anti-piracy vessels, the Fisheries Agency said. The crew of the Chin Yi Wen managed to overpower the Somali pirates and regain control of the 260-ton Kaohsiung-registered fishing boat, the agency said. Three crew members sustained slight injuries during the fight, according to the agency, which said it had been in close contact with the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) and the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) on the hijacking. The Chin Yi Wen, with 28 crew members aboard -- none of them Taiwanese -- rendezvoused with UKMTO-authorized British anti-piracy vessels in the Indian Ocean around 4 a.m. Sunday (Taipei time), the Fisheries Agency said in a written statement. The boat has been heading toward Port Victoria in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Seychelles since its escape, the agency said. It is expected to arrive in the Seychelles port within 40 hours, under the escort of British and Seychelles vessels, it said. Contact with the fishing boat, carrying a crew of nine Chinese, eight Filipinos, six Indonesians and five Vietnamese nationals, was lost Friday, when it was believed to have been seized by Somali pirates. (By Lin Shu-yuan and Deborah Kuo)