The Vietnamese fishing boat that was rammed and sunk last week by one of the Chinese vessels that are guarding China’s illicit oil rig in Vietnam’s waters has been lifted up from the sea area in central Da Nang City.
>> U.S. Senator says it’s unacceptable to ram, sink Vietnamese fishing boat>> Chinese ship rams, sinks Vietnamese fishing boat in Vietnam’s waters >> Chinese vessel rams, breaks Vietnamese ship in Vietnam’s waters The lift was conducted by the Bac My An lifting, repair and building cooperative at Tho Quang port in the city, with about 100 local and foreign reporters as witnesses. The boat, DNa-90152, was towed to the port after it sank due to an aggressive attack by Chinese fishing boat 11209 on May 26, when it was operating about 17 nautical miles south-southwest of the then location of China’s drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou 981, which has been placed illegally in Vietnamese waters since May 1. About 50 floats were used to lift the ship from the waters, said Nguyen Van Sy, deputy chairman of the cooperative. Present in the port, the owner of the ship, Huynh Thi Nhu Hoa, a local resident, was very upset to see how damaged her boat was. All the equipment, including an internal communication system (Icom), a global positioning system (GPS), a fish finder and other items, were out of order.
The deck of the boat and personal belongings of crew members were covered in mud. The ceiling of the boat collapsed totally while a large hole was seen in the side of the boat, near the cabin. The hole, which is as wide as the circumference of a human body, was created through the wall of the boat that is as thick as 10 cm. Nguyen Van Hieu, 55, a senior ship repairer of the cooperative, said that the hit could have been very strong as it pierced through the 10-cm wall of the boat. The damaged ship is irrefutable evidence of the attack by Chinese fishing boat 11209 on local vessel DNa-90152, said cooperative chairman Sy. “The attack is an intentional act that was aimed at killing Vietnamese fishermen,” Sy said. After two relocations since May 1, the rig is now located at 15°33’22’’ North latitude and 111°34’23’’ East longitude, still in the Vietnamese waters.Legal action may be taken Tran Van Linh, chairman of the Da Nang Fisheries Association, said it is inhuman that a Chinese vessel rammed and sank a local ship and left the scene, leaving 10 crew members of the sunken ship drifting at sea. Linh also pointed out that after the incident, some Chinese ships even attempted to prevent Vietnamese boats from towing the sunken ship to Da Nang since they were afraid that the wreck would become undeniable evidence against their crime. “We will identify the damage to the boat and prove that it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel. We will have a clear conclusion about the incident to reject a false claim by the Chinese side that DNa-90152 sank by itself after slamming into a Chinese ship.” The ship is too damaged to be repaired, but it will serve as irrefutable proof for a possible lawsuit to be filed against the Chinese attackers. “Hoa, the boat’s owner, said she will take legal action and the local fisheries association will support her in judicial procedures,” Linh said. Meanwhile, Hoa said she has asked the fishermen who were the victims of the attack to wait for her to build another ship so that they can continue to go fishing in the Vietnamese waters. “We will go to the same waters again to show that we will never be scared of the Chinese, no matter how cruel or savage they can be,” Hoa said.