A Vietnamese fisheries surveillance ship has been seriously damaged after it was rammed three times by two Chinese vessels in Vietnam’s waters on Wednesday afternoon, Tuoi Tre (Youth) correspondents reported from the scene.
>> Clip: Chinese vessel rams, sinks Vietnam fishing boat >> Chinese vessels nearly sink Vietnamese fishing boat in Vietnam’s waters >> Chinese vessel rams, breaks Vietnamese ship in Vietnam’s waters>> Vietnam lifts ship sunk by Chinese vessel attack These foreign ships are among those that are guarding the Chinese oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 that was dispatched illegally to Vietnam’s waters on May 1. The assault occurred in an area about 9.1 nautical miles from the rig, the Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department reported the same day. At 2:10 PM, vessel #9 and a Haisan tugboat, both Chinese, sped toward Vietnamese fisheries surveillance ship KH22 and cornered it in the water. The Chinese ships then fired water cannons at the KH22 and the foreign vessels took turns ramming the sides of the local ship three times. Despite the aggressive and cruel attack, the KH22 tried to keep itself from capsizing and eventually managed to escape the attackers. The assault destroyed the electricity supply for the ship’s steering machine, broke two glass windows, collapsed eight beds and a desk, and damaged the entire ceiling of the vessel. The boat’s communication system also broke due to the attack. Luckily, no casualties were reported and the boat’s crewmembers tried to repair the vessel so that it could continue operating temporarily. At the same time as the attack, three other Chinese coast guard boats attacked Vietnam Coast Guard boat CSB 4032 by firing their water cannons at the local vessel. The Vietnamese ship had to speed away to escape the assault. Earlier in the morning, the same local vessel was nearly rammed by other Chinese boats that surrounded it. According to a report from the Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department, the Chinese side used 110-115 vessels, including about 35-40 coast guard boats, 40-45 fishing boats, and four military ships to guard the rig on Wednesday. The platform, after relocating twice – on May 27 and June 1 – is now located at 15°33’22’’ North latitude and 111°34’23’’ East longitude, still in Vietnamese waters. Since early May, the rig’s guarding ships have launched many similar assaults on Vietnamese vessels, injuring 12 Vietnamese fisheries surveillance officers and several fishermen and damaging a dozen boats, the department said.