A Vietnamese fishing boat was operating in Vietnamese waters off the central province of Quang Ngai on Thursday night when it was reportedly scared away and sank by two Chinese vessels, local authorities said.
The Chinese ships approached the QNg 90559, with 11 fishermen on board, when it was fishing off Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracels) archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea, the administration of the province’s Binh Chau commune said Friday, citing a report from the attacked boat.
The vessels directed high-powered lights at the Vietnamese boat and used loudspeakers to demand it to leave the waters, said Truong Van Duc, the boat owner.
Duc ran his ship away, fearing a possible attack, but was run after by the foreign ships, which eventually rammed the fishing boat to sink at 11:00 pm, according to the report.
The Chinese ships then left the scene, leaving all the 11 fishermen floating at sea while clinging to the lifebuoys from their sunken ships.
The fishermen were rescued and taken ashore after several other Vietnamese fishing boats found them at about 2:00 am on Friday.
The Quang Ngai Province Sub-department of Fisheries Resource Development and Protection on Friday said it has reported the case to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Directorate of the Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
This case is the latest in a series of attacks by Chinese ships on Vietnamese fishing boats of Quang Ngai in recent times, according to authorities.
Prior to the Thursday incident, on June 17, a Chinese ship #4044 approached the QNg 95431 ship, also from Binh Chau, when the latter was fishing off Hoang Sa.
People from the foreign boat blatantly boarded the fishing vessel, assaulted its crew, and took away all the property on board, according to the Vietnamese boat’s captain, Nguyen Van Tan.
Earlier the same day, two other fishing boats from Binh Chau also reported they had been harassed off Hoang Sa by some Chinese boats for five hours.
Three other serious attacks happened to the ships coded QNg 90205 TS, QNg 90369, QNg 90657 TS – all from Binh Chau – from June 7 to 14.
They were bullied by Chinese ships when fishing off the Vietnam’s archipelago, Hung said. The Chinese assaulters fired powerful water cannons at the Vietnamese fishermen, injuring two of them.
They took away a total of about 11 metric tons of aquatic products, and a large amount of navigation equipment and fishing tools.
The three attacks caused damage totaling about VND1.05 billion ($48,150).