9 missing after boat sinks off Vietnam metro coast

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One person is confirmed dead and eight other are still missing after a boat carrying 30 passengers, including two foreigners, capsized off the coast of Ho Chi Minh City on Friday night.

Big waves are believed to have overturned the boat, which was designed to carry just 12 people.

Staff of the Area III Marine Rescue and Research Center in the southern coastal province of Ba Ria Vung Tau said they were informed of the accident that happened near Can Gio beach at around 9 p.m.

Rescue boats that were rushed to the site managed to save the lives of 21 people, including an American married couple.

The survivors were admitted in hospitals in HCMC's Can Gio District, and Ba Ria Vung Tau Province.

As of early Saturday morning, nine people, including helmsman Pham Duy Phuc, were still nowhere to be found, although rescuers have located the ill-fated boat.

A senior staff member of the rescue center who wished to stay unnamed told Thanh Nien that they could not approach the boat because of big waves.

The boat's location is 10-21N; 106-57E, about eight sea miles from Vung Tau town, an online newspaper reported.

Initial information is that the boat belonged to an agency of the Ba Ria Vung Tau coast guard. The accident happened when it was on its way back from the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, where the passengers had attended a wedding.

Huynh Cach Mang, chairman of the Can Gio District People's Committee, said the passengers are with the PetroVietnam Steel Pipe Joint Stock Company.

The search continues for the nine missing persons.

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