47 missing as 61 boats get caught in rough seas

TN News

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Vietnam's search and rescue authorities are looking  for 47 people who have gone missing since last Thursday (December 16) after several boats were caught in rough seas off the central and southern coasts.


So far six people have died, according to the report of the Rescue Department under the border security force.


Half of them were from the central province of Thua Thien Hue, while others were from Khanh Hoa and Da Nang provinces.


Sixty-one boats had reported being in distress, 26 of which were sunk by big waves and winds, the department said.


Among the missing were 23 crew members on the cargo ship Phu Tan, which sank off the coast of Quang Binh Province Thursday.


The ship, belonging to Hanoi-based Vinalines Container Shipping Company, was carrying 27 people and 1,000 shipping containers in total when the accident happened.


The body of one crew member was found, while three of them were rescued by Chinese boats.


Mate Bui Thai Hai, one of the rescued members and currently being treated on Hainan Island, said the ship was hit by a very strong whirlwind.


It sank very quickly, prompting the crew to wear life-jackets and jump into the sea before returning to take lifeboats, he said.


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