More than 70 passengers were rescued on Tuesday just before a ship sank off the central province of Quang Ngai.
At around 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Vinh Hai developed cracks in its body because of strong winds and rough seas, and water entered the ship when it was about seven nautical miles from Ly Son Island.
The ship, carrying more than 70 people and 70 tons of goods, was on the way from Quang Ngai province's Sa Ky port to Ly Son Island.
Realizing that the ship would sink soon, captain Phan Minh Trung dumped a lot of goods into the sea and sent out SOS signals.
The Ly Son People's Committee responded by sending the high-speed vessel An Hai along with four other ships to the site.
After several hours of struggling with the strong winds, the rescue ships were able to transfer all on board Vinh Hai to An Hai.
They also tried to tow the troubled ship to Ly Son Island but failed because of the rough seas and heavy rain. Vinh Hai sank sometime later with total losses estimated at VND2 billion (US$103,000).
Earlier on Tuesday, a crew of seven sailors was saved soon after their ship sank off the coast of Da Nang after an engine breakdown.
The Da Nang Coastal Information Radio station said it received emergency signals from the cargo ship, named Bien Dong 02, at 5:35 a.m. The crew asked for help saying the ship's engine suddenly stopped working and water had flooded its hold.
The radio immediately transmitted signals to the entire sea area off Da Nang. Long Hai 18, which was in the vicinity, rescued the seven sailors.
Bien Dong 02 sank at 6:20 a.m. when it was on the way from the Phuc Son cement port in the northern province of Hai Duong to Vung Ro port in the central province of Phu Yen.