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English>>China Society

Fishermen's fears linger after ordeal (5)

By An Baijie, and Hu Yongqi (China Daily)

14:20, July 28, 2012

Soon after that, the men were picked up by a helicopter from a Chinese warship, and they got their first showers in 19 months.

Zhang Leilei came back to his village on Wednesday morning, and all of his relatives lined up in front of his house to welcome him.

Zhang's fellow crew member Li Guoqi, 22, said he will never work on the sea anymore.

"I thought that being a seaman would make me a lot of money, but all I got was torture in the past five years," he said. "I will be obedient and dutiful to my parents in the future."

Training needed

Zhang Leilei said he had little knowledge about sailing and Somali pirates before the trawler was hijacked. "The labor service company in my hometown just told us that being a fisherman would make us a big fortune, and we didn't receive any training," he said.

Ocean-shipping experts said shipping companies or private boat owners have to take more measures against pirate attacks, like providing better training for sailors and getting protection from the Chinese navy on pirates-infested waters.

Compared with the monthly salary of $250, emergency training seems more valuable and important, Zhang said.

"International navigation is very complicated, and a little negligence will put ships in danger, though most sailors are well experienced," said Shao Zheping, head of the Navigation College of Jimei University in Xiamen. Shao worked with the 6th Chinese naval escort flotilla in 2010 and 2011.

People easily get tired on a ship where they cannot enjoy high-quality food and good sleep. So sailors can't focus their attention on the surrounding waters for a long time. But they still have to strictly follow the emergency plan set by the Maritime Safety Administration. Sailors have to send warnings on the first sight of suspected pirates, then search for help from the navy. The last resort may be to get into the safety cabin.

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