Source: Xinhua, 06/02/2011
SANAA-In response to earlier reports that a Chinese-flagged commercial ship was hijacked by Somali pirates off Yemeni coast, the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center (MSA) said Sunday that the ship has never been hijacked, and is now sailing safely with escort of the Chinese anti-piracy navy fleet.
Both the "Tien Hau" ship, which was registered in Hong Kong, China, and its 22-member crew, are safe, a MSA official confirmed to Xinhua over the phone. The center contacted the ship to make sure it was safe, he added.
The ship had been followed by a suspicious boat for a while, but it was never attacked or hijacked, the official said.
Earlier, Yemeni Interior Ministry had said the ship was hijacked by pirates some 20 kilometers off the Yemeni island of Al-Tair off the city port of al-Hudaida, and was heading to Somali coast.
The Gulf of Aden is considered as one of the world's most dangerous waters because of rampant piracy.