Vietnamese fishermen on a Taiwanese fishing boat hijacked by Somali pirates off the Indian Ocean last December are still in stable condition after spending about one year in the hands of the pirates, online newspaper VnExpress reported.
On Dec. 30, 2010, the FV Shiuh Fu No. 1 was last seen being pursued by a pirate skiff 138 miles off the northeast tip of Madagascar. There have been no communications from the crew since.
On Wednesday, Tran Van Hung, one of the fishermen, called home saying he and other Vietnamese fishermen are good and have not been beaten by the pirates, his father Tran Van Vinh said.
The phone call lasted three minutes, Vinh said.
Hung told his father the pirates demanded around US$3 million ransom, but the Taiwanese boat owner could not afford it.
The boat's crew comprises of 12 Vietnamese, 12 Chinese and a Taiwanese captain.
The 12 Vietnamese fishermen hail from the central province of Nghe An and Ha Tinh.