Marooned sailors send SOS to newspaper

TN News

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Crew members aboard a ship marooned in the Gulf of Thailand since July Wednesday sent out a call for fuel and fresh water.

Chu Duc Thien, captain of the DT18 ship, contacted the Thanh Nien office in Bangkok after his attempts to reach ship owner Trai Thien Company in Ho Chi Minh City failed. Thien wanted to ask for money to buy necessities for the crew.

Without the money, the ship cannot land at the nearest town, Bang Saphan, to refuel to continue its journey home.

The cargo vessel broke down in seas off Bang Saphan on July 22.

Crew members said Trai Thien Company neglected their pleas for aid for nearly a month before hiring a vessel to tow it closer to shore.

Crew member Nguyen Manh Thanh said some representatives of Trai Thien and Van Xuan, the company supplying crew members for the ship, had been aboard the ship until Tuesday.

"They ran away as they know there's hardly any fuel left," captain Thien said.

The crew members have also sought assistance from the ship's fuel and water supplier in Bangkok, who said it could do nothing without being paid by Trai Thien's head office in Vietnam.

"We're really tired and planning to leave the ship," said Thanh, who pointed out the crew members could not survive for very long without water.

Nguyen Van Thong from Trai Thien Company said the ship's fuel supplier in Bangkok had previously filled the ship's orders and waited for the company to pay later. "But now they have changed their policy," he said.

Thong said the company will contact the supplier today and if no progress is made, it will find another supplier.

Meanwhile, Van Xuan Company said it had asked Trai Thien Company to supply fuel and water to the ship this morning because it had become too dangerous for the crew members to be marooned.

Reported by Viet Phuong

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