A Chinese fishing boat rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing ship with 10 fishermen on board in the Vietnamese territorial waters on Monday. All the crewmembers were rescued by other Vietnamese fishing boats.
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At 4 pm May 26, about 40 Chinese fishing boats surrounded a group of Vietnamese fishing ships in an area about 17 nautical miles south-southwest from the location where China’s oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 has been placed illegally since May 1.
These Vietnamese ships were from the central city of Da Nang.
Suddenly, Chinese fishing boat #11209 crashed into Vietnamese fishing ship DNa 90152 with 10 fishermen on board.
Tuoi Tre's latest clip of the attacks by Chinese vessels on Vietnamese ships in Vietnam's waters
The hard hit sank the local ship, and some Vietnamese fishing boats operating nearby managed to save all the 10 crew members.
The waters where the Vietnamese ship sank is within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf and is the traditional fishing ground of Vietnamese fishermen.
Meanwhile, the area where the Chinese rig is illicit placed remained very tense on Monday, said a Vietnam Coast Guard unit on the scene.
Chinese vessels always attempted to ram or fire their water cannons at Vietnamese ships, so local vessels had to try to avoid being attacked, the unit said.
The Chinese 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.
According to a report from the Vietnamese Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department, the rig moved about 100 meters north on Sunday, May 25.
After making such a movement, the rig stopped moving on Monday, Ha Le, deputy head of the department, reported the same day.
Since placing its oil rig in the Vietnamese waters on May 1, China has deployed a large number of vessels including militray ships to the area to guard the rig.
These Chinese ships have continuously rammed or fired their water cannons at Vietnamese vessels, and such attacks have so far injured 12 Vietnamese fisheries surveillance officers and damaged many boats, the department reported.