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Tourist boat damaged by underwater objects in Ha Long Bay

Friday, February 24, 2017, 10:39 GMT+7

A tourist boat carrying nearly 50 people in Ha Long Bay, a prominent destination in northern Vietnam, has been damaged by underwater objects, causing water to leak into its deck.

The vessel QN-6091 belonging to Phuong Hien Company struck underwater objects around 8:00 am on Thursday while on tour through Ha Long Bay.

Located in the northern province of Quang Ninh, the world-renown tourist destination has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered a must-see wonder in the Southeast Asian country.

The ship was carrying 45 foreign tourists and two crew members when its hull was damaged after hitting several underwater objects just one hour after setting sail, according to initial information. 

Amidst water flowing onto the boats deck, the ship’s captain managed to steer the boat to an area near the Ngon Tay (Finger) islet, where the passengers were transferred to two other vessels, also operated by Phuong Hien Company.

Authorities say they plan to examine the boat and determine the exact cause of the accident once it is been towed back to the mainland.

Following the incident, the provincial People’s Committee has ordered competent agencies to carry out inspections on of the safety standards of local tourist cruise ships and the skills of their crew to ensure safety for passengers.

On similar examinations were previously conducted by the Quang Ninh Inland Waterway Port Authority on 60 ships operating in the area a total of 21 violations were recorded, including insufficient equipment, life-saving appliances, and firefighting tools.

Each vessel was forced to ensure that they are properly equipped and in good conditions before being allowed to resume operations.

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