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The Dark History of the Chinese Fishing Vessel Lurongyu 2682: Mutiny, Murder, and Deception.
In the depths of the South Pacific Ocean, aboard the Chinese squid-jigging trawler Lurongyu 2682 (鲁荣渔2682号), a chilling narrative unfolded in 2011. This is a tale marked by mutiny, mass murder, and a desperate and ill-fated escape attempt.
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“Lu Rong Yu 2682,” which had been operating in open seas since 2000, belonged to Shandong Rongcheng Xinfa Seafood Corporation (山东荣成市鑫发水产公司). It was a large squid fishing vessel, measuring thirty to forty meters in length, with a main engine power of 330 kilowatts. Its main operating areas were the Southwest Pacific and Southeast Pacific, and this time it was bound for Peru and Chile in the Southeast Pacific.
Among the 33 crew members on this voyage, in addition to Chief Engineer Wen Dou, the management personnel included Captain Li Chengquan, Chief Mate Fu Yizhong, Second Mate Wang Yongbo, and Chief Engineer Wang Yanlong. The rest were ordinary crew members. The crew members came from various regions, including Shenyang, Chaoyang, Dandong, Fushun, Dalian, Changchun, Inner Mongolia, and Shandong, according to the information provided by the families of the missing crew members and the indictment from the prosecutor’s office.
Most of the crew members were relatives or acquaintances who invited each other. For example, Wen Dou and crew member Wen Mi were uncle and nephew, and Second Mate Wang Yongbo was the cousin of crew member Wu Guozhi’s wife. Wang Peng, a 25-year-old crew member from Dalian, was invited by his “senior brother” Wen Dou, who was also studying to become a driver at the same time. With the idea of exploring the outside world, Wang Peng ignored his parents’ objections and boarded a deep-sea fishing vessel for the first time.
On December 27, 2010, following the usual practice, “Lu Rong Yu 2682” set sail for Peru for its fifth offshore operation.
Almost as soon as the voyage got underway, the undercurrents of discontent started swirling among the crew. A significant number of them were illicit seafarers, stealthily smuggled aboard the ship to bypass custom inspections. With counterfeit company stamps endorsing fictitious contracts, these sailors were essentially undocumented workers, concealed within the ship’s shadowy corners. As the ship commenced its squid jigging operations in the Peru Sea in February 2011, whispers of discontent regarding the working conditions began to seep out. As weeks passed, the crew’s discontent evolved into mistrust and suspicion towards the operating company. Worries about contract infringements and unjust salary reductions proliferated, sowing the seeds of an impending mutiny.
On June 16, 2011, the fishing vessel refueled in the waters near Chile. Later that night, Liu Gui Duo ordered Huang Jin Bo and Wang Peng to destroy the communication equipment and positioning system on board, while Jiang Xiao Long and others guarded the gangway leading to the bridge on the first deck. Subsequently, they, along with Bao De, Shuang Xi, and others, armed with knives and sticks, broke into the captain’s room and used knives and sticks to control Captain Li Chengquan, forcing him to change course.
When the chef, Xia Qi Yong, noticed something amiss and went to the bridge door with a knife to see the captain, he became the first victim. Jiang Xiao Long stabbed him and beat him with a stick before throwing him into the sea.
Under Liu Gui Duo’s threat to “blow up the ship and kill people,” Captain Li Chengquan was forced to set the return course using the satellite navigation system. Wang Peng took the helm and the ship set sail back.
According to the prosecution’s indictment, around July 20, 2011, Liu Gui Duo gathered Jiang Xiao Long and others to plan the killings of Wen Dou, Wen Mi, Yue Peng, Liu Gang, Wang Yong Bo, Jiang Shu Tao, and six others who were suspected of showing resistance. They then killed Wu Guo Zhi and three others.
Liu Gui Duo organized and commanded the killings from the bridge, using loud music as a cover. Huang Jin Bo lured Wen Dou out of the engine room and deceived him into the captain’s cabin, while Jiang Xiao Long and four others went down to the engine room and stabbed Wen Mi to death before throwing her into the sea. When Wen Dou returned from the bridge, Jiang and the others stabbed him randomly and pushed him into the sea.
Next, they targeted the crew members in the twelve-person dormitory. Yue Peng and Liu Gang were called out of the dormitory one after another, stabbed, and thrown into the sea. Later, Liu Gui Duo and three others entered the twelve-person dormitory, killed Wang Yong Bo, and threw him into the sea.
In the evening and early morning of the next day, Jiang Shu Tao was killed on the starboard gangway, and Chen Guo Jun was pushed directly into the sea on the foredeck by Liu Gui Duo. In the afternoon, Bo Fu Jun and Wu Guo Zhi were called to the aft deck, Bo was stabbed and kicked into the sea by Liu Gui Duo, and Wu was stabbed and forced to jump into the sea.
By this point, including the chef who was killed earlier, a total of ten crew members had been killed.
However, there was discord among the killers themselves. According to the prosecution’s indictment, on July 24, 2011, when the hijacked fishing vessel was sailing more than 1,000 nautical miles northwest of the Pacific Ocean off Japan, Liu Gui Duo received information from Huang Jin Bo that Bao De Ge Ji Ri Hu and others were planning to betray them, which would be detrimental to Liu Gui Duo. As a result, he decided to kill Bao and Shuang Xi, Dai Fu Shun, Bao Bao Cheng, and others. Prior to this, Captain Li Chengquan, Cui Yong, and Duan Zhi Fang, in order to protect themselves, voluntarily joined Liu Gui Duo’s side.
That night, Liu Gui Duo ordered Huang Jin Bo, Wang Peng, Li Chengquan, and Cui Yong to stab Bao, who was forced to jump into the sea. Shuang Xi and Dai Fu Shun were held at knifepoint in the twelve-person dormitory and were also forced to jump into the sea. Later, Liu Gui Duo had Bao Bao Cheng, Shan Guo Xi, and Qiu Rong Hua called out from the four-person cabin and they were forced to jump into the sea.
Some crew members attempted to save themselves. During the first wave of killings, crew member Ma Yu Chao had already gone missing. Around 4 am on July 25, 2011, the engine room of the fishing vessel flooded, causing a loss of power and the ship tilted. Crew member Wang Yanlong also went missing at this time.
While Captain Li Chengquan and others organized self-rescue efforts to drain the water, crew members Fu Yi Zhong, Gong Xue Jun, Ding Yu Min, and Song Guo Chun put on life jackets and jumped onto a makeshift raft carrying life-saving supplies in an attempt to escape. However, the raft drifted back near the fishing vessel with the current. Liu Gui Duo, Li Chengquan, and others threw squid fishing sinkers at the raft, forcing Fu Yi Zhong, Gong Xue Jun, and Song Guo Chun to abandon the raft and jump into the sea. Jiang Xiao Long then jumped onto the raft and used a fishing spear to stab Ding Yu Min before being forced to abandon the raft and jump into the sea.
Song Guo Chun, after seeking help in the sea, was pulled back onto the fishing vessel. However, Captain Li Chengquan proposed that Duan Zhi Fang and Xiang Li Shan had not “shed blood.” Liu Gui Duo instructed Duan and Xiang to deal with Song. In order to protect themselves, the two, along with Huang Jin Bo, took off Song’s life jacket, tied his hands and feet, and tied an iron sinker to him before throwing him into the sea, killing him.
In the aftermath, the surviving eleven crew members, each implicated in the murders, were instructed by Liu to pin the blame on Bao and his group, and claim the real culprits had fled on a lifeboat. Believing they had secured their escape route, the mutineers coerced the crew into contacting their families for money transfers, necessary to facilitate their illegal journey. Despite this, an undercurrent of unease persisted on board, and eventually, eleven crew members made it back to China.
Upon their arrival at Shidao on August 12, 2011, all eleven surviving crew members were apprehended by the police. Initially, they adhered to Liu’s plan, denying any involvement in the murders and shifting the blame onto Bao and his companions. However, except for Liu, they all eventually confessed their crimes.
On March 19, 2013, the court in Weihai City, Shandong Province, announced the verdicts for the convicted crew members, with sentences ranging from four years in prison to the death penalty. On March 23, 2017, the Supreme Court of China authorized the death sentence for Liu Guiduo, Jiang Xiaolong, Liu Chengjian, Huang Jinbo, Li Chengquan, and Wang Peng.
In the aftermath of this grim incident, the bereaved families of the deceased crew members received compensation from Xinfa. The government vowed to bolster regulations and enforcement relating to fishing safety, training, and labor disputes. An anonymous crewmate shared the harrowing story of the mutiny in an interview that went viral online, amassing 30 million views and 100,000 comments on Sina Weibo. A monograph based on a separate interview with a released crewman was published in August 2016, adding another layer to the grim narrative that had unfolded on the Lurongyu 2682.
Following the Lurongyu 2682 mutiny, a film was produced and initially titled “远航” (Yuan Hang). In July 2022, the movie underwent a name change and received official approval from the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) for online release. It was scheduled to premiere exclusively on Tencent Video on May 27, 2023. However, to everyone’s surprise, the film was suddenly withdrawn and failed to be released as planned. This unexpected development led to the trending hashtag “#电影远航#” (Movie Yuan Hang) on Weibo, where discussions about the movie gained momentum.
Featured image from the movie “远航” (Yuan Hang), 2022
Sources: wikipedia 1, 2, 3
Topics: Chinese Squid-Jigging Vessel Mutiny, Lurongyu 2682 Sea Tragedy, Murder on the High Seas, Mutiny on Lurongyu 2682, Liu Guiduo Mutiny Leader, Maritime Crime in China, Li Chengquan and Bao De in Mutiny, High Seas Murder on Chinese Vessel