One of the Chinese vessels that are guarding China’s drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in Vietnam’s waters rammed Friday a Vietnamese fisheries surveillance ship as they continued approaching to threaten Vietnamese ships near the facility.
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The attacking ship is a tugboat #9, which crashed into Vietnamese fisheries surveillance ship HP 926 at 11 am on Friday, Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper reported the same day.
The ramming at a high speed by the Chinese tugboat not only violated the navigation regulations but also was a very dangerous action that threatened the lives of all the Vietnamese crewmembers aboard the ship, said Nguyen Cao Duy, the captain of vessel HP 926. Earlier at 9:30 am, a Vietnam Coast Guard ship #CSB 4032 and several Vietnamese fisheries surveillance ships, including the ship HP 926, got close to the area where the Chinese drilling platform has been placed illegally since May 1.
Tuoi Tre's latest clip of the attacks by Chinese vessels on Vietnamese ships in Vietnam's waters
About 10:30 am, these Vietnamese ships entered an area about 4 nautical miles from the rig and used loudspeakers to request the Chinese rig and its escort ships to leave the Vietnamese waters. At that time, two Chinese marine police ships #4001 and 3701, began to drive Vietnamese vessel 4032 away, with support of a spy plane and a maritime surveillance ship. Meanwhile, the Chinese tugboat #9 sped up to move toward Vietnamese vessel HP 926 and crashed into the local vessel thirty minutes later, causing serious damage to it. Also, another Chinese ship fired its water cannon at Vietnamese fisheries surveillance ship #628, breaking its Vinasat antenna system. Meanwhile, Vietnamese fishermen continued their normal fishing operations in an area 7-9 nautical miles from the Chinese rig, under the protection of the Vietnamese fisheries surveillance and Vietnam Coast Guard forces. The Chinese oil rig is located at 15°29’58’’ North latitude and 111°12’06’’ East longitude in the East Vietnam Sea, which lies well within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs insisted. China has deployed a large number of vessels, including military ships, to guard the platform since May 1 and has remained in the waters so far, despite the strong protest from Vietnam, which has repeatedly demanded that China remove the rig from the waters immediately.