June 27, 2019 | 12:00 pm GMT+7
A Vietnamese fishing boat at sea. Photo by Shutterstock/Suti Stock Photo.
A Vietnamese fishing vessel was rammed and sunk by a Singaporean vessel last Saturday, but its crew were later rescued.
The sinking was confirmed by the Ca Mau Border Guards Command on Tuesday. It said that the Vietnamese ship, CM 99596 TS, was hit by the OCEANUNICORN about 70 nautical miles southwest of Khoai Island, 14 kilometers (nine miles) south of Ca Mau. After the collision, the Singaporean vessel fled towards Thai waters.
Seven fishermen from the sunk vessel were later rescued by a Vietnamese vessel nearby.
The Ca Mau Foreign Affairs Department informed the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the incident on Wednesday, requesting that the OCEANUNICORN be asked to take responsibility for its actions and that relevant agencies be contacted to resolve the issue.
At the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on Sunday, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said ASEAN needs to pay attention to the intimidation of fishermen at sea.
Phuc’s statement came after recent incidents in the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea.
A Filipino fishing vessel was rammed by a Chinese ship while they were asleep earlier this month. The 22 crew members, who were rescued by a Vietnamese fishing boat hours later, said the Chinese ship abandoned them to drown as their ship sunk. In March, a Chinese vessel sank a Vietnamese fishing boat from the central province of Quang Ngai while it was fishing in the Da Loi (Discovery) Reef off Vietnam’s Paracel Archipelago.
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