Fishermen hold funeral for giant whale found floating off central Vietnam

By Tu Huynh   May 15, 2017 | 06:12 pm PT
Fishermen hold funeral for giant whale found floating off central Vietnam
The over-10-ton whale is brought onto the beach. Photo by VnExpress/Tu Huynh
The over-10-ton carcass of the traditionally sacred animal was found floating near the coast of the central province of Binh Thuan.

Residents in the south-central coastal town of Mui Ne held a funeral Monday for a dead whale, the biggest seen in a decade, after fishermen found the giant marine mammal floating the previous day.

Le Van Phung, a local fisherman, saw the carcass of 12 meters (39 feet) long, nearly 3 meters wide and with a weight of about 10 tons - the size of a medium truck - while fishing early Sunday about 20 nautical miles southwest of Mui Ne in Binh Thuan Province, 200 kilometers (130 miles) northeast of Ho Chi Minh City.

Following traditional beliefs, Phung and his crew stopped working and brought the whale back to mainland where it was given proper burial in Binh An fishing village.


Locals work at the whale's grave in Binh An Village in Vietnam's south-central province of Binh Thuan. Photo by VnExpress/Tu Huynh.

Whales are considered sacred animal by Vietnamese fishermen as they often save humans from natural disasters at sea. It is a common belief among fishermen that, by giving dead whales proper burials and worships, the sailors will be blessed with luck, good weather, bountiful catches and protection while at sea.

“This is the largest 'Grandpa Fish' in the last 10 years in Mui Ne's waters," Le Van My, chief of Binh An village, said. "We believe the village's fishermen will do well this year.” 

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