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Vietnam launches new ship to replace boat sunk by Chinese vessel

Thursday, January 22, 2015, 16:20 GMT+7

A new wooden fishing boat has been launched in the central city of Da Nang to replace the old one that was sunk by a Chinese vessel in Vietnamese waters in May 2014.

>> Clip: Chinese vessel rams, sinks Vietnam fishing boat City authorities and Huynh Thi Nhu Hoa, a local resident who owned the sunken ship, on Tuesday conducted a launching ceremony for a fishing boat, DNa 90657, which was built through financial support from the local authorities and other agencies. The new fishing boat, which was built at a cost of over VND7.5 billion (US$351,000), is 21.5 meters long, 6.2 meters wide and 3.5 meters tall, Hoa’s family said. It has a capacity of about 1,000 HP and can survive winds of up to 117 kph, the family said, adding the vessel will operate in the waters of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago in the East Sea. The new ship replaces vessel DNa 90152 that was rammed by a Chinese vessel in Vietnamese waters off Hoang Sa in late May 2014. Tran Van Von, Hoa’s husband, said, “After the DNa 90152 sank in the attack, my family received a lot of condolences and encouragement from people across the country and from abroad. We were then determined to build a new boat that is bigger and more powerful than the old one.” The new vessel contains the valuable sentiments from a lot of people, Von said.  

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Vietnamese fishing boat DNa 90152 was lifted on June 2, 2014 after being rammed and sunk by a Chinese vessel in Vietnam's waters on May 26, 2014. Photo: Tuoi Tre

As previously reported, DNa 90152 was attacked by a Chinese vessel on May 26, when it was operating with ten fishermen on board in the Vietnamese waters about 17 nautical miles south-southwest of the location where China illegally planted the Haiyang Shiyou 981 drilling rig last year.

The rig was positioned well within Vietnam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone from early May to July 16, 2014.

At about 4:00 pm on May 26, two huge ironclad Chinese fishing boats appeared in the waters and sped toward the small Vietnamese vessel, which responded by attempting to escape.

However, Chinese vessel #11209 got close enough to DNa 90152 for it to be able to ram the Vietnamese boat from behind. Despite the collision, the local ship continued its escape attempt, but  the foreign vessel purposefully crashed into it a second time. The local vessel then capsized and quickly sank, throwing eight of its crew members into the sea. At the time, the two other fishermen remained in the cabin.

The trapped fishermen then managed to exit the cabin through glass windows that had broken during the attack. The Chinese vessels left the scene after the incident.

The Vietnamese fishermen clung to a thúng chai, a round boat made of bamboo mesh, which had fallen from their fishing boat into the sea. About 20 minutes later, another Vietnamese ship, also from Da Nang, found and saved all ten victims, who were taken ashore in Da Nang on May 29.

After being towed to a port in the city, the sunken boat was lifted from the water on June 2, 2014, but it had sustained heavy damage and was beyond repair.

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