Captain Do Van Nam on the fishing boat QNg 90226 arrived home on November 27, 2014. Photo credit: Tien Phong
A badly damaged Vietnamese fishing boat returned to the central province of Quang Ngai on Thursday following attacks from three Chinese vessels near the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, Tien Phong (Pioneer) newspaper reported.
Captain Do Van Nam set off in the wooden boat, coded QNg 90226, from Binh Chau Commune in Binh Son District on Wednesday morning for the waters around Da Loi Island in Hoang Sa, where around 50 local boats have fished for the last 30 years.
While seven crew members were pulling in nets, a Chinese coast guard vessel coded 46102 showed up and cut through their lines.
The fishermen rushed to pull in their other catches, the Chinese ship continued to glide over their lines.
The Chinese ship didn't stop until noon, when the vessel began to head back to shore.
Just as it pulled four nautical miles from shore, two other Chinese ships appeared.
As Captain Nam sped up to flee the scene, one of the two Chinese ships approached another Vietnamese fishing boat nearby and fired a water cannon into it.
The Chinese ship then turned toward Nam's vessel and unleashed the cannon on it.
The fishermen closed the windows of the boat and held them tight. But the high-powered stream burst into the captain’s cabin, soaking the boat's interior.
Water rose over a meter deep in the engine cabin.
Soon afterwards, another Chinese ship crashed into the boat’s port side, causing serious damage and sending the entire crew tumbling to the floor.
As the boat shook fiercely, Do Thanh, one of the crew members, jumped onto the deck and signaled for the Chinese ship to stop.
Two Chinese men who stood on the ship’s deck looked down and shut off the water cannon.
The Vietnamese fishing boat, badly damaged and missing around 100 fishing nets, returned home and reported the attack to local coast guard officials.
Nguyen Quoc Vuong, chairman of Binh Chau Commune People’s Committee, said it will notify the higher authorities, while police are investigating the case.
Local fishermen said Chinese ships had chased their boats away while they were fishing in the Da Loi Island several times before, but this attack was the most violent and severe.