Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Pirates attack Isle of Man ship bound for China

The crew of a Manx-registered ship have been attacked by machete-wielding pirates off the coast of Malaysia.

The 173,000 tonne bulk carrier, Bet Fighter, was in the Malacca Straits as six pirates raided the vessel, the Isle of Man ship registry said.

Crew were threatened and two officers were tied up by the pirates who took valuables and cash before fleeing back to their small boat.

The attack prompted the International Maritime Bureau to issue a warning.

Director of the Isle of Man ship registry Dick Welsh said the owners of the China-bound ship had informed him of the incident.

He said: "This was a different type of piracy to that we see off the horn of Africa where pirates take a vessel and ask a significant ransom for the vessel and its cargo.

"This was more a sort of robbery where the pirates got on board and they took the people on board hostage and got to the master's cabin - and what they were after was valuables and money and some of the crew's personal effects, and then they left the vessel."

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