Vietnamese maritime rescuers Saturday saved 12 people from a burning cargo ship off the central coast.
Hai Phong 09 belonging to the Hai Phong Trading and Transport Company was carrying cement from Quang Ninh to Quang Nam.
At around 8 a.m. Saturday the ship sent an SOS after failing to put out a fire in the engine room when it was around 30 nautical miles off Cham Island.
The Da Nang Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center received the SOS and dispatched rescue vessel SAR-274 to the spot.
At around 10 a.m. it reached the spot and rescued 11 sailors, but the captain of the distressed vessel, Le Khac Dinh, asked to stay back to help extinguish the fire.
Even as the firefighting efforts were going on, the ship's engine suddenly started and the vessel began to sail at around 6 nautical miles per hour, forcing the rescuers to secure it with ropes.
The fire was finally put out after more than two hours and the ship was towed to Da Nang. No casualties have been reported but the extent of damage is not known yet.
Investigators are trying to find out the cause of the fire.
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