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14 rescued from capsized speedboat off southern Vietnam

Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 17:39 GMT+7

Fourteen people were rescued from a speedboat sinking off the southern Vietnamese province of Kien Giang while the vessel was attempting to reach the mainland.

The victims were brought to safety by a local fishing ship after their speedboat was capsized by strong waves near Lai Son Island off Kien Giang, Colonel Dang Van Thong, commissar of the provincial border guard office, announced Wednesday night.

According the initial report, 12 tourists took a boat from Rach Gia City to Nam Du Island off Kien Giang early Wednesday.

While on Nam Du, a member of the group fell off a motorcycle and broke her arm, prompting them to rent a speedboat around 7:00 pm to return their wounded friend to the mainland for treatment.

Approximately 10 kilometers off the coast of Lai Son Island, the vessel hit rough seas and the 12 tourists and two boatmen were sent overboard.

The victims were able to survive using their lifejackets until local fishermen came to their rescue around 8:00 pm.

According to Col. Thong, the speedboat had a maximum capacity of 12 people and was only registered to carry passengers on excursions around Nam Du Island and was not permitted to take travelers from the island to the mainland.

Local authorities also forbid ships from carrying passengers in the evening, he continued.

Our top priority is to assist the tourists, who were brought to Mau Islet near Nam Du, Thong said, adding that further investigation will be carried out.

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