|Nguyễn Văn Hạ, one of the three abducted fishermen is overwhelmed with happiness meeting his beloved at the Nội Bài International Airport. — VNA/VNS Photo |Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI - Three Vietnamese fishermen held hostage by Somali pirates for more than four years returned home to a tumultuous reception in Hà Nội yesterday.
After years of living in miserable conditions, Nguyễn Văn Hạ and Nguyễn Văn Xuân, both 35, and Phan Xuân Phương, 27, were greeted by overwhelmingly happy relatives and friends at the Nội Bài International Airport.
Hạ was in tears as he said he was both “moved and excited” on seeing loved ones that he had yearned to see for such a long time. He thanked everyone who’d helped make the return and reunion possible.
Bùi Thị Lệ, Hạ’s wife, said the family had heard on TV last Saturday that the fishermen would be returning, and received a call from him the same night, saying he was staying in a hotel in Somalia and would be returning home on Tuesday.
She kept crying as she waited for her husband at the airport exit gate, their son in her hands. Her mother said this was the first time the son was seeing his father because he was born on the same day that Hạ left for his offshore fishing trip.
Đỗ Tuấn Anh, an official with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said his colleagues at the Vietnamese Embassy in Tanzania and other officials from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had worked hard through days and nights for more than two weeks to help the fishermen get the documents needed for their return.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had ordered the embassy in Tanzania to send its staff to Kenya shortly after receiving information that the 26 crew members of ship Naham 3, including three Vietnamese citizens, were to be freed and sent to Kenya.
They were kidnapped by Somali pirates in March 2012. VNS