A boat racer drowned after colliding with another vessel in the north-central province of Quang Tri on Saturday.
Hoang Cong Dieu, 38, died after falling into the river. His boat overturned a a collision in the fourth round of a commune tournament.
Eyewitnesses said Dieu was panicked and too tired to grab anything.
His other two teammates, both of whom couldn't swim, survived by grabbing onto other boats.
Dieu died, they said, because everyone was too busy salvaging his boat.
“We were rushing to continue the race. Only after we gathered everyone else, 10 minutes later, did we notice that Dieu was missing,” a team member told news website VnExpress.
Racers and rescuers joined the search for Dieu which ended in the recovery of his lifeless body.