13 people on a tourist motorboat in central Quang Nam Province were killed Saturday and five others are still missing after the vessel capsized at sea.
The vessel, which was carrying 39 people from the Cham Islands to the shore, was engulfed by the waves at around 2 p.m. while it was about three kilometers away from the Cua Dai Beach of Hoi An Town.
34 people have been taken back to shore, but 13 of them died, said Phan Viet Cuong, Party chief of Quang Nam.
Five people including two children remain missing.
More than 10 boats with 400 people including fishermen and border guards were searching for the victims over three square kilometers.
The work temporarily stopped at 5:30 p.m. for safety reasons.
“We might need to cooperate with the military to deloy a helicopter for the search,” Cuong said.
“It’s a painful incident,” he said.
“We will be searching for victims first, then we will salvage the boat and collect statements to investigate the cause of the incident.”
The incident happened amid unfavorable weather conditions. For the past week, sea areas from the south central Binh Dinh Province to the southern Ca Mau Province and other sea regions of the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea, have observed strong winds and rough seas.
The Cham Islands, about 18 km away from the Cua Dai Port of Hoi An, is a major tourist destination. It takes about 15 minutes to reach the islands from the shore using motorboats.
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