Four fishing ships sail on the sea, escorted by the naval ships Xuchang and Luomahu. Photo by Wu Kangci
By Xue Chengqing and Wu Kangci
GULF OF ADEN, Apr. 16 (ChinaMil) -- On the evening of April 14, local time, two ships from the 31st Chinese naval escort taskforce to the Gulf of Aden, the guided-missile frigate Xuchang (Hull 536) and the comprehensive supply ship Luomahu (Hull 964), successfully escorted four Chinese fishing ships to safe waters after a voyage of more than 500 nautical miles.
The four Chinese fishing ships belong to Shanghai Dier Deep Sea Fisheries Co., Ltd. They set out from Shanghai and sailed westwards to Port Said, a port city located in northeastern Egypt, via the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia. The Chinese naval escort fleet dispatched Xuchang and Luomahu ships to protect them from potential risks.
Considering the comparatively small tonnage, low freeboard, slow speed and weak self-defense capability facts of those fishing ships, the Xuchang ship was sent out sailing dozens of nautical miles to meet them, so as to ensure the success of the mission.
During the voyage, the escort formation conducted 24 hours uninterrupted monitoring of sea situations, and sent carrier-borne helicopters twice to carry out airborne patrol and alert missions.
To express gratitude to the convoy, sailors aboard the fishing ships posted banners outside the cabin, saying “Thanks to our Navy for Escorting the Fishing Fleet of Shanghai Fisheries”. “We salute you for your assistance!” Before departing, those fishing ships expressed their sincere gratitude to the convoy via VHF radio.