The area where the Tung Trang tourism boat sank on August 28. Photo: Nhu Minh
A boat carrying 12 foreign tourists capsized in Ha Long Bay on Thursday in strong wind and heavy rain; all were safely rescued.
The accident happened at around 2:15pm as the Tung Trang boat was cruising near the Ga Choi Isle. In addition to the dozen passengers, the boat was carrying a tour guide and seven crew members.
A tropical depression in the East Sea created the strong wind and heavy rain that ultimately capsized the boat, which sank within two minutes.
Everyone aboard managed to put on a life jacket in time and were rescued by nearby boats coordinated by the bay's rescue team.
The tourists were visiting Ha Long Bay through the Hanoi-based Vietnam Open Tour.
Rescuers are trying to salvage the boat that went down with the passengers' property.
Quang Ninh provincial authorities are investigating the accident, which appears to have been caused by incliment weather.
They have committed to reimbursing them for any losses.
However, the bay authorities only stopped boats from leaving at 1pm--roughly 20 minutes after the Tung Trang boat departed.
At 8:30pm, strong waves sank the Binh Minh while it was docked at Bai Chay Wharf; no one was aboard.
At that time, three other boats carrying a total of 78 tourists were unable to dock due to strong waves. Military vessels were deployed to take them ashore, Dan Viet reported.
On Thursday night, about 18 boats that left before the departure ban managed to dock in the bay overnight with 342 tourists--254 of whom were foreigners.
Meanwhile, a cargo ship sank near Bach Long Vi Island due to rough weather. Six members of the Phu Cuong 0148's abandoned the vessel before it went down.
Ha Long Bay was recognized as UNESCO’s World Heritage. The popular tourist destination in northern Vietnam attracted 4.8 million tourists in the first half of this year--1.3 million of whom were foreigners.