Photos: Italian Frigate Rescues Injured Crewmember After Pirate Attack

frigate helicopter
Helicopter aircrew from the frigate Martinengo prepares to medevac an injured crewmember from the Zhen Hua 7 (Marina Militare)

Published Nov 16, 2020 8:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Saturday, after the pirate attack on the heavy lift ship Zhen Hua 7 in the Gulf of Guinea, the Italian Navy frigate Federico Martinengo came to the vessel's assistance and rescued an injured crewmember.

According to security consultancy Dryad Global, Zhen Hua 7 was boarded by pirates on Friday at a position about 80 nm to the northeast of the island of Sao Tome. 14 out of her 27 crewmembers were kidnapped, all of them Chinese nationals. 

After the attack, the Martinengo made way towards the vessel and established communications. The Zhen Hua 7's crew reported that the pirates had departed with the abductees and that one crewmember was injured and in need of assistance. The victim had been shot in the leg.  

Images courtesy Marina Militare

A boarding team from the Martinengo transferred over in a RIB to sweep the ship and ensure its safety. A medical team followed suit and helped to stabilize the victim for transport. The frigate's helicopter transferred him safely to Sao Tome for further treatment. 

At the time of the attack, the Zhen Hua 7 was adrift, in laden condition with the 8,000 dwt crane barge Sea-Commander on her main deck. She has since entered port at Luba, Equatorial Guinea, according to tracking from maritime data provider Pole Star. 

Tracking courtesy Pole Star