Video Credit: CEN/Prefectura Naval
This is the moment an Argentine navy vessel shoots at a Chinese boat accused of illegally fishing in Argentine waters and refusing to follow orders.
The video, shared by the Argentine Naval Prefecture, shows servicemen warning crew on board the Chinese vessel ‘Hua Xiang 801’ before opening fire on it.
The incident took place within Argentina’s exclusive economic zone about 200 miles from the Gulf San Jorge which stretches along the southern Argentine provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz.
Pictures Credit: CEN/@PrefecturaNaval
An Argentine Naval Prefecture statement said: “They were warned that if they did not follow orders, we would open fire. The Chinese vessel did not respond and we did what we threatened to do after a dramatic chase.”
According to local media, the navy chased the Hua Xiang 801 for over three hours and at one point the Chinese vessel even allegedly tried to ram the Argentine one.
They had reportedly spotted the boat dropping its fishing nets with its lights on.
According to the navy statement: “The fishing boat tried to ram the Naval Prefecture vessel, putting the crew members’ lives at risk.”
The Chinese boat then managed to get away and the Argentine authorities have requested an international arrest warrant to track them down and bring them to justice.
Maritime official Carlos Villareal told local media that “the boat was fishing illegally and tried to avoid the marine authorities.
“There is a background of this, and other boats that managed to escape were later caught and fined 7.5 million ARS (142,150 GBP).”
In 2016, an illegal boat also managed to escape from Argentine waters, but was later tracked down in Indonesia thanks to international help and fined for the encroachment.