Da Nang forms new search and rescue team following river disaster

By Nguyen Dong   October 20, 2016 | 11:34 pm PT
Da Nang forms new search and rescue team following river disaster
Da Nang holds a large-scale search and rescue drill after the fatal accident of Thao Van cruise ship on Han River. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong.
The new team will have special training and be on duty 24/7.

Authorities in Da Nang have approved the establishment of a new maritime search and rescue (SAR) team which will take charge of emergencies in local waters.

The decision came amid rising concerns over a number of ship-related incidents that happened in the city recently.

The new SAR team will consist of 20 members from the local border guard forces, who will go through additional training and receive specialized equipment. They will be on duty 24/7 at the Han River Port and Thuan Phuoc Harbor in case of accidents or natural disasters on the river or at sea.

The need for a quick and effective search and rescue team has risen following a fatal cruise ship accident on the Han River in early June that resulted in three deaths.

After the incident, Da Nang authorities instructed the border forces to replace the Da Nang Port Authority of Inland Waterways under the Department of Transport and take charge of shipping operations and search and rescue missions.

According to Da Nang's mayor Huynh Duc Tho, the search and rescue operations during the recent accident were not up to standard.

The establishment of the new SAR team will address this issue and tighten control over the operations of tour boats.

A man and two children died while 53 people, including a captain and two crew members, were rescued after the cruise ship overturned on the Han River near the Novotel Hotel in Da Nang on June 4. The ship had only 28 seats but was carrying 56 people in total.

Da Nang is one of the top destinations for foreign and local tourists in the central region.

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