Mutiny feared on 'hijack' freighter
Monday 08 February 1993
An armed party of Coast Guard personnel from the Honolulu- based cutter Rush boarded the 310ft East Wood 1,500 miles south- west of Hawaii on Friday in response to a series of radio distress calls, starting on 27 January, that the vessel had been hijacked.
The master of the ship told the coastguards that he and his nine crewmembers feared for their lives at the hands of 'bad men' who were among 527 Chinese nationals on board the ship, said Rear-Admiral William C Donnell, commander of the 14th Coast Guard District, on Saturday.
Only a few pocket knives and a machete were found when the ship was searched for weapons, officials said. Two members of the crew, the radio operator and the second engineer, appeared to be missing, Rear-Admiral Donnell said. Earlier reports said they may have sabotaged the ship's engineering equipment to disable the vessel before jumping overboard in life jackets.
The Rush's commanding officer, Capt Al Doty, reported that the East Wood's captain and a man identified variously as a passenger and the ship's chief steward had a violent argument after the captain accused the other man of being the hijack leader.
There is strong evidence that it was a large-scale smuggling operation of aliens, and that 'the alleged hijacking took place when the master of the East Wood failed to meet the expectations of its chartering company', Rear-Admiral Donnell said.
The ship's owner, East Wood Shipping Company of Hong Kong, had chartered the bulk carrier to an unidentified party who apparently put the Chinese nationals on board soon after the ship left Hong Kong for Taiwan on 29 December, officials said. 'If this is an indication of things to come, we've got a real problem on our hands,' the Rear-Admiral said.
Three ships attempting to smuggle Chinese immigrants into the United States were intercepted in Hawaiian waters last year.
The East Wood was without safety equipment, and there were no toilet facilities for the nearly 400 passengers housed in the ship's two cargo holds, Rear-Admiral Donnell said. Another 147 passengers, who had apparently paid more money, were housed in rooms in the ship's pilot house. All the passengers were in good health, Capt Doty reported.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Winston Churchill: From accusations of anti-Semitism to the blunt refusal that led to the deaths of millions
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...