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Vietnam plans to have more maritime rescue vessels

By Sen    October 9, 2019 | 03:45 am PT
Vietnam plans to have more maritime rescue vessels
A vessel of the Hai Phong Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC). Photo courtesy of Hai Phong MRCC.
Vietnam Marine Department is eyeing the national budget or foreign aid to add five search and rescue vessels (SAR) to their insufficient number.

A source from the department told the Ministry of Transport-run newspaper Giao Thong on Monday a new SAR which can withstand wind speed of 75-88 kph with a fuel tank capacity of 200-tons will soon be built. The new vessel can run a continuous operation for as long as 15 days.

The Ministry of Transport has aprproved the proposal and is now reviewing the project design to assess its feasibility. 

The department said it wants to build four more SARs by tapping into the Official Development Aid or seeking developed countries' help to use their used rescue vessels.

Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center currently has only seven search and rescue specialized vessels. The country has over 125,000 commercial fishing vessels, among them 25,000 are offshore, consisting of over one million fishermen.

The limited number of rescue vessels makes it challenging for rescue teams to get to at-stake fishermen at sea, Vu Viet Hung, Deputy General Director of Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center said.

"In recent years, the weather has become more complicated, with monsoon winds as strong as storms. Meanwhile the rescue vessels built between 2001 and 2005 have all been almost depreciated," Hung said.

He said some big SARs can only withstand winds of 50-74 kph. The fuel tanks can only store from 10 to 36 tons, so the operation time is limited, making it a major challenge to handle accidents at a distance offshore.

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