A Chinese ship rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat near a giant oil rig that China illegally positioned well within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone on Monday.
The incident happened at around 4 p.m. when the Chinese ship coded 11209 rammed into the fishing boat driven by captain Dang Van Nhan, 40, from the central city of Da Nang with 10 fishermen onboard.
The Vietnamese fishing boat was previously encircled by 40 Chinese fishing vessels before it was attacked.
At the time of the crash, the Vietnamese boat was fishing in its traditional fishery off the coast of Da Nang, some 17 nautical miles from the area where China’s Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig was illegally deployed earlier this month.
After the boat sank, a nearby Vietnamese fishing boat managed to rescue all the fishermen on the boat.
Two of the fishermen sustained minor injuries.
It is not the first time Vietnamese fishing boats have been attacked by Chinese ships. On May 16, a Vietnamese fishing boat was attacked by a Chinese ship off Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, Vietnam News Agency reported.
Vietnamese fishermen were then beaten by crew members of the Chinese ship while their properties were taken away.
After being assailed, the boat, captained by Nguyen Van Quang from Quang Ngai Province, managed to escape and then get medical assistance from Vietnam Coast Guard’s vessels.
On May 7, another Vietnamese fishing boat captained and owned by Nguyen Van Loc from Quang Ngai Province, was chased and rammed by a Chinese ship off Hoang Sa Islands, suffering from damage to its sides and cabin.
Since the beginning of May, China illegally dispatched the rig, as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft, to Vietnamese waters and positioned the rig at a location 80 miles deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
Chinese ships have repeatedly rammed and fired water cannons into Vietnamese coast guard and fisheries surveillance ships which are carrying out their law enforcement missions in the country’s waters, leaving many Vietnamese ships damaged and officers injured.
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