Divers are making efforts to find and rescue two crew members believed to be trapped inside a boat that capsized off Ho Chi Minh City last night.
The Hoang Phuc 18 with a crew of 17 capsized at around 7 p.m. Friday on Soai Rap River, Can Gio Dist. Thirteen crew members, including captain Nguyen Trung Tuong, have been saved, according to Nguyen Dinh Viet, deputy head of the Vietnam Maritime Administration.
Rescuers said they believe two more men are stuck inside the boat and are still searching for the other two.
More than 20 divers have been deployed in the search, but they said strong currents and wind and waves have made the job harder.
Authorities have feared that bad weather may force the operation to halt when night falls.
The boat, loaded with 700 tons of stones and machinery, was anchored on the Soai Rap in rough weather when it suddenly listed to starboard, the crewmen said.
"We'd just finished dinner. It was about 7 p.m.," Tran Minh Sang, 30, said. It took only five minutes for the boat to capsize, he said.
"Everyone was panic," Sang said. He managed to swim to a barge about 100 meters away and was rescued.
Ho Hoai Nam, 21, said he was sitting in his room when suddenly "everything fell to the floor." The boat quickly flipped over and water pushed him into the engine room.
As he strived to swim out, Nam touched another man "who already died," he said.
Nam and nine other crew members, including Sang, were saved by fishermen in the area before vessels of the Coast Guard and search and rescue forces reached the scenes and rescued three others.
Captain Tuong was found trapped in an air pocket inside the boat this morning.
A helicopter has joined the operation.