Fishermen from the central province of Quang Ngai have reported two attacks over the past two weeks by Chinese armored vessels in Vietnamese waters, which caused around US$13,500 worth of damage.
A source from Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance, an agency responsible for patrolling, told Tuoi Tre on Monday that it is verifying statements from the fishing crew about the attacks, reportedly on January 14 and December 31.
Vo Ngoc Minh, a crew member, said the boat is still being repaired in Da Nang.
Minh said that in the latest incident, an armored ship with Chinese words painted on it rammed into his boat twice when the crew was casting nets around 90 sea miles off Da Nang.
He said after the first collision, all ten men aboard quickly pulled up the nets. The Chinese vessel hit the boat again.
“We were so scared we just sailed as fast as we could to Da Nang,” Minh told Tuoi Tre.
Vo Long, the boat captain, said the previous attack happened in Vietnamese waters near Hoang Sa (Paracel islands).
“An armored vessel approached and stopped at around four meters ahead of us before it suddenly rammed into our boat,” Long said, adding that the ship had two crew members speaking Chinese.
“We steered to avoid it but it only left after hitting us one more time.”
The attacks damaged his boat’s cabin, communications system and broke its chimney.