Quang Ngai officials are seeking assistance from the central government as they continue to hunt for the crew of a fishing boat that went missing on January 23.
Truong Ngoc Nhi, vice chairman of the provincial People's Committee submitted the request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Committee for Search and Rescue, on Monday.
Le Minh Tan, 47, left Ly Son Island District on December 22 with a crew of five.
Boat QNg-66192 was bound for the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago, to pick up a load of seaweed.
The crew said they'd return in a month. But the fishermen's relatives haven't heard anything from them since January 23.
Vice Chairman Pham Thi Huong of the Ly Son People's Committee, said they have asked Vietnam's coastguard to seek information from fishing boats throughout the region.
So far, they have yet to turn up any trace of the missing boat.
Meanwhile, the wives and children of the crew have gathered on the beach, every day from dawn to dusk, awaiting their loved ones' return.
Captain Tan's wife, Ngo Thi Viet, told Thanh Nien that the family saved for a long time and took out sizeable loans to purchase the boat in 2008.
"He told me he would try to go off shore one last time this year to earn additional money for Tet (Lunar New Year)," she said. "Tet has come and gone but he is still missing. I don't know how to handle the family without him."
The sorrow is doubled for Truong Thi Hoa, whose husband, Tran Van Lanh, and younger brother, Truong Van Tien, were both on the boat.
The wives said it often takes their husbands about 25 days to make the run to Hoang Sa and return. It was impossible for the boat to remain at sea for more than two months without issuing some form of communication.
Viet, Captain Tan's wife, said she plans to set an altar to pray for them soon.
"No one will return now," she said.