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Vietnam rescues 11 sailors from sunken Panama vessel

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HCMC – Two sailors were found dead, while 11 others were rescued on December 18 after a Panama-flagged cargo ship sank off Phu Quy Island in Binh Thuan Province.

Rescuers are looking for the remaining two sailors of the total 15 who were on board the ship, said Nguyen Hung Tan, head of the office of the Steering Committee for Search and Rescue of the province.

Tan said that at 2.15 a.m. today, the CSB 6007 ship found and picked up eight Chinese and three Vietnamese sailors. They are receiving care on the ship and will soon be transported to the mainland.

Meanwhile, this morning, the SAR 413 ship of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province’s search and rescue center also discovered the bodies of two other Chinese sailors.

Bui The Nhan, chairman of Phu Quy District, said the locality is well prepared to check the health of the rescued sailors and treat them after they enter the island, while following Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures.

After some 10 hours of tilting and running adrift in the sea at a speed of 1.8 nautical miles per hour, the Xin Hong ship sank completely and lost signal some 19 nautical miles away from the island, according to the border guards of Phu Quy Island.

The Xin Hong ship was carrying 7,800 tons of clay from Malaysia to Hong Kong with 11 Chinese and four Vietnamese sailors onboard when it tilted and sank off Binh Thuan Province due to the weight of the clay and big waves on December 17.

Before the ship tilted and started to sink and was 1.5 nautical miles from the island, the captain sent out a distress signal and jumped into the sea with the other sailors.

Border forces of the province and special-use ships were quickly dispatched to the scene to join the rescue operation, the local media reported.

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