A Vietnamese fishing boat was reportedly ambushed and looted by a China Coast Guard vessel off Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago on Sunday.
Colonel Dinh Duc Lien, political commissar of Cang Ky Ha Border Gate’s border defense in the central province of Quang Nam, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Monday that a Vietnamese fishing boat was attacked and robbed of all its fishing gear by a China Coast Guard vessel.
The fishing boat belongs to fishermen in Tam Quang Commune, Nui Thanh District, Quang Nam Province.
According to Lien, fishermen aboard the boat reported the incident to have occured at 12: 30pm on March 6.
The boat, coded Qna-91.939 and owned by Vo Quang Thai, was carrying 10 sailors and fishing within Vietnam’s territory near Hoang Sa at the time, when China Coast Guard vessel number 46101 approached and took control of Thai’s boat.
Eleven men from the China Coast Guard ship boarded Thai’s boat and stole food and oil, as well as destroying all of their fishing gear and two basket boats.
Lien said the fishermen have not provided estimations of the total loss.
The fishing boat arrived at the An Hoa estuary in Nam Thanh District on the evening of March 7, and investigations followed on the morning of March 8.
“After receiving the information, we reported to Quang Nam Border Defense and local authorities to send representatives to the scene on March 8 for damage assessment,” Lien added.
Here are some photos taken on board the fishing boat by Tuoi Tre's reporters on March 8:
A fishing net on Thai’s boat cut by a China Coast Guard ship on March 7, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Vietnam’s Border Defense officers are seen inspecting the damage to the boat on March 8, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The 'warning' note written in Vietnamese that the Chinese vessel sent to Thai’s boat, telling them to turn south. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A rope on Thai’s boat cut by the China Coast Guard vessel on March 7, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The Icom system on Thai’s boat broken by the China Coast Guard vessel on March 7, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre
An official (R) is seen providing a fisherman with financial support on March 8, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The boat as seen on March 8, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre