Update: 11:17 | 20/07/2022
Four fishermen rescued in central Vietnam after drifting on the sea for nine days said three others with them in the coracle died and their bodies had to be dumped.
The four fishermen were rescued Tuesday afternoon off the coast of Binh Thuan Province. They were part of the 15-member crew of a ship that departed June 21 from the province's Phan Thiet Port towards sea regions of the Spratly Islands.
A rescuer operates on a vessel to search for the crew members of a missing vessel near the Spratly Islands.
The ship went went missing on July 10 amid rough seas and strong winds. Its known location, at around 5 a.m. that day, was about 155km away from Phu Quy Island and 233 km away from the Phan Thiet Port, authorities said.
For over a week since, 11 vessels belonging to both residents and authorities have been dispatched to find the missing ship.
On Tuesday afternoon, the office of the Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Search and Rescue of Binh Thuan said a Binh Dinh fishing vessel found the four fishermen near the Spratly Islands.
The office said at around 1:10 p.m., the Binh Dinh vessel found them floating on a coracle at sea, still alive. The fishermen said there were originally seven people in the coracle, but three died and had to be buried at sea. The fishermen said they couldn’t say exactly where the bodies were pushed off the coracle.
The fishermen were in weak health when they were found. The search continues for others on the ship, authorities said.
Binh Thuan border guard forces have devised plans to guide the Binh Dinh vessel to return to shore so that the rescued fishermen could be taken care of.