Vietnamese rower bound for India to meet wife saved by Thai navy

By Dang Khoa   March 24, 2022 | 04:30 am PT
A Vietnamese man was rescued from an inflatable boat off Thailand's west coast Wednesday while rowing alone towards India to see his wife.

Similan Islands National Park officials and Third Naval Area Command found him rowing an inflatable boat about 14 kilometers off Similan Islands and about 80 kilometers off Phang-nga.

His 2.5-meter boat was filled with about a dozen packets of instant noodles, a nearly-emptied water bottle, and a suitcase.

Thai Navy rescues Ho Hoang Hung of his inflatable boat on Phang-nga coast on March 23. Photo courtesy of Thai Navy

The Thai Navy rescues Ho Hoang Hung from his inflatable boat on the Phang-nga coast, March 23, 2022. Photo courtesy of Thai Navy

After sailors and marine park rangers brought him onshore, he identified himself as Ho Hoang Hung.

The 37-year-old told officials he was paddling towards India in order to reunite with his Indian wife who lives in Mumbai. The married couple hasn't seen each other for more than two years because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

According to Bangkok Post, he arrived at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport from Ho Chi Minh City on March 2 and intended to book a flight to India.

But when he later learned that he would need a visa to enter India, he took a bus to Phuket and bought an inflatable boat.

He headed offshore on March 5 and intended to row more than 2,000 kilometers to India.

He said that he was rescued by Thai fishermen after spending 18 nights at sea. They later tied his boat to their fishing vessel.

Local officials have brought him to Mu Ko Similan National Park and are working to provide further assistance.

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