Boat sunk, rescued fisherman dies in search for son

By Nguyen Hai   July 1, 2019 | 11:02 am GMT+7

A fisherman drowned after once being rescued when his boat was hit and sunk by a cargo vessel off Vietnam's northern coast on Friday.

Nguyen Van Hoa’s body was brought back to his hometown in the central province of Nghe An on Sunday evening.

Family members of Nguyen Van Hoa, a fisherman who drowned after his boat was hit and sunk, cry as they prepare to receive his body in Nghe An Province, June 30, 2019. Photo by VnExpress.

Family members of Nguyen Van Hoa, a fisherman who drowned after his boat was hit and sunk, cry as they prepare to receive his body in Nghe An Province, June 30, 2019. Photo by VnExpress.

He was one of 19 men on the boat that was sunk by Pacific 01, owned by International Transportation and Trading Joint Stock Company (ITC) based in Ho Chi Minh City. Nine other crew members are still missing.

Dinh Trong Dung, one of the people who were rescued, said his boat was rammed when it was anchored off Bach Long Vy Island off Hai Phong for the crew to rest after a night of fishing.

"I was sleeping when I heard a scream and as I opened my eyes, I saw a huge subject approaching us, and very quickly it upended the boat."

Everything happened in the blink of an eye, and before he could scream or do anything else, a huge crash rang out and the fishing vessel overturned. 

"I was lucky I could get off the ship in time. I tried to swim as far as I could and was eventually saved," Dung said.

It had taken him a while to realize that the "huge subject" which had hit his boat was a cargo ship.

The other fishermen who survived the crash said Hoa, the dead man, had initially been rescued, but when he came around and learned that his 17-year-old son was still missing, he jumped back into the water to look for him.

But he was exhausted and drowned before he could find his son.

Hoa and his wife had borrowed VND200 million ($8,600) to build the boat three years ago together with 14 other families.

Their son, who had dropped out of school to follow in his father’s footsteps, remains missing.

Cargo ship Pacific 01 after hitting a fishing boat and causing it to sink in the waters off Vietnams northern coast. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center.

Cargo ship Pacific 01 after hitting a fishing boat and causing it to sink in the waters off Vietnam's northern coast. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center.

Family members of the crew met an ITC executive on Saturday and got an admission in writing that his company’s ship had caused the deadly accident.

The document said: "Our company takes responsibility. We will hire divers to look for the remaining fishermen as soon as possible. We will also compensate families who lost members and property in accordance with the laws."

The Pacific 01 crew stopped the vessel immediately and rescued the nine fishermen.

The ship has now joined the Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center, seven fishing boats from Nghe An Province, a Vietnamese naval vessel, and a Chinese vessel to look for the missing men.

The 27-meter fishing ship is under an estimated 69 meters of water.

 
 
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