Fishermen Gone Missing: “Strange Boats” or “Rough Waves”? - Dân Làm Báo

Fishermen Gone Missing: “Strange Boats” or “Rough Waves”?

Nguyen Ngoc Hai (boat owner) recounts how his boat was attacked and sunk while fishing on the East Sea – LDO

Danlambao’s reader - “While cooking on board at around 20:00 pm, we saw a large vessel passing by, deliberately dropping an anchor onto our boat and hurriedly sailed away. Forcefully jerked, the anchor made our boat capsize. After about two hours, our boat was completely submerged; one by one, all eventually fell into the sea. We tried to swim or cling to floating planks,” Hai, one of the unlucky fishermen recounted the incident when his boat QB 92671 TS was attacked by a Chinese vessel on 15 Feb. 2016.(1)

Above is the 18 Feb.2016 coverage of Nguoi Lao Dong, meaning The Labourer, a state-owned newspaper. The witness is Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Hai – owner of the boat QB 92671 TS, which was attacked and sunk on the East Sea, about 45 nautical miles southeast of Hainan island of China.

On board were seven people. Only 4 of them survive; the remaining three, including Hai’s son, have gone missing.

The boat sank. Everybody was then pounded by high winds and rough waves for nearly 4 hours before being rescued by a fellow fisherman’s boat, according to Hai. The search for the missing three went on hopelessly while Hai and the three survivors were taken ashore on the morning of 18 Feb. 2016.

It was only then that the authorities concerned got involved. Government officials at once showed up at Cang Giang Border Post to collect the survivors’ statements, and then performed the “usual function” of visiting the victims and raising their morale as well as giving regards to the families and sharing their losses.

The boat QB 92671 TS was obviously attacked and sunk, according to Hai’s statement. However, the National Committee of Search and Rescue claimed that the incident was caused by high winds and rough waves (2).

A representative of Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center (VMRCC) told reporters that at 21:30 pm, 15 Feb. 2016, the boat QB 92671 TS was hit and sunk by rough waves while fishing off HaiNan island (3).

The question raised is that why VMRCC provided the information that is contrary to that of the victim - the captain of the ill-fated boat?


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