The Iranian navy rescued a Chinese freighter ship on Friday, April 6, and freed its 28-member crew from Somali pirates.

Iranian media report that nine Somali pirates used ladders to board the ship in international waters near Chabahar Port in Southeast Iran, taking the crew hostage.

The Xinhua Chinese News Agency reports that after the Chinese Ambassador to Iran requested help from Iran, Iranian naval forces were dispatched to the scene and managed to rescue the ship and crew.

The Chinese freighter, carrying a load of iron, was en route to a port in southwestern Iran when it was captured. The ship had left from Shanghai and made a stop at Singapore before heading for Iran.

The Chinese embassy has confirmed the crew’s release.

Iran has had several clashes with pirates in the past, and according to Iranian Navy Commander Habibollah Sayyari, there have been 44 navy encounters with pirates in the region just in the past year.