Dang Dung (L), the owner and captain of the fishing boat codenamed QNg 90352 TS, narrates the attack with local authorities. Photo: Hien Cu
Authorities in the central province of Quang Ngai are investigating claims by local farmers that they had been attacked and robbed by Chinese forces off Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands last month.
On Monday, Dang Dung, 40, told authorities his fishing boat, codenamed QNg 90352 TS, with 10 crew members set off to Hoang Sa on September 22.
After six days of fishing, they had a catch of more than two tons.
On the morning of September 29, captain Dung anchored the boat near the waters of Luoi Liem Island so that crew members could rest.
When they were sleeping, a Chinese-flagged vessel suddenly crashed into the starboard of the fishing boat, he said.
Five Chinese men, who wore uniforms and badges, with knives and electric-shock batons in their hands, jumped into the fishing boat.
They forced Vietnamese fishers to go to the prow of the boat and bow down. Dung tried to raise his head a bit to look, but a Chinese man hit him.
The Chinese men searched the boat and damaged some of the property.
They took away two tons of catch, some communications devices and fishing gears before leaving.
Dung found a crack, around one meter long, on the boat’s starboard, which caused water to flow into the boat.
He and other crew members managed to cover the crack and drove the boat to Da Loi Island, seeking for help.
After the boat was anchored at the island, more water seeped in, causing it to sink.
Luckily, another fishing boat came to the site after receiving its SOS signal.
The boat rescued all the crew members.
Dung said he lost everything after the attack.
Phan Huy Hoang, deputy chief of Quang Ngai’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said in a press briefing Monday that Chinese forces attacked and robbed 26 local boats off Hoang Sa since May this year.