A cargo ship crew traveling off the southern Philippines was able to evade attacking pirates by dumping a mixture of boiling water and oil on them.
The Philippine ship MV Kudos came under siege by a dozen pirates using three motorboats off the coast of Sibago Island in the Basilan region earlier this week. The pirates were armed with rifles as they attempted to climb aboard the ship and kidnap the crew to be held for monetary ransom.
The 22 sailors aboard the merchant vessel acted quickly and resurrected a medieval siege defense technique by mixing boiling water and oil and dumping it on the pirates climbing their vessel.
The boiling mixture sent the pirates failing back into their boats and into the sea. The buccaneers began firing their rifles at the ship’s crew, wounding two with minor injuries.
However, the crew knew their lives depended on continuing their improvised defense plan, while their distress signal alerted the Philippines Coast Guard. They were successful, and soon the Coast Guard showed up to engage the pirates and then escort the cargo vessel to their port.
They pirates are assumed to be of the Abu Sayyaf militant group, which has recently pledged loyalty to the Islamic State. Last year, the insurgent group attempted a very similar hijacking in the same area.
“We were pleased that the crew did not lose their presence of mind,” said Coast Guard Western Mindanao Command Chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr. “Their raw courage enabled them to pour hot water to the pirates who were already attempting to climb the vessel.”