Fishermen aboard three Vietnamese fishing boats rescued 11 Malaysian sailors whose barge broke down off Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago on Sunday, the Vietnam National Search and Rescue Committee reported the same day.
At about 3:00 pm, the Vietnamese vessels found barge HUB18, with Malaysian nationality, drifting about 134 nautical miles off Phan Vinh Island, part of Truong Sa in the East Vietnam Sea.
The barge, which is about 160 meters long, was carrying 131 containers. Sea conditions were rough, as it was raining heavily and the wind was especially strong.
The fishermen aboard two local vessels from south-central Binh Dinh Province, BĐ 97105 TS and BĐ 95698 TS, came alongside the drifting barge and rescued nine Malaysian sailors from it.
Meanwhile, another vessel from central Quang Ngai Province, QNg 97068 TS, saved the other two foreign sailors.
The local vessels then sent SOS signals and reported the rescue to the Nha Trang Coastal Information Station, which in turn informed the incident to search and rescue agencies in the region.
Upon receiving the signals, another Vietnamese fishing boat, BĐ 95698 TS, came to the scene to provide help.
Competent agencies from the Vietnam National Search and Rescue Committee are coordinating with the three Vietnamese fishing boats in towing the barge to a safe place and taking care of the Malaysian sailors, pending the following steps to be taken.