|People from fishing boat LADY R3 are rescued by cargo ship HELIOS LEADER. — VNA/VNS Photo|
BÀ RỊA-VŨNG TÀU — Authorities in the south-central province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu are preparing to receive more than 300 suspected migrants rescued from a fishing boat that got into distress late on Sunday afternoon.
The Burmese fishing boat LADY R3 was about 258 nautical miles from Vũng Tàu Cape and carrying 303 people thought to be Sri Lankan, including 264 males, 19 females and 20 children.
Sri Lankan navy spokesperson Indika de Silva said a Sri Lankan citizen onboard contacted the navy on Monday and said they were in distress.
The Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Colombo sought help from Singapore, Việt Nam and the Philippines.
After receiving distress signals, Việt Nam's Marine Search and Rescue Coordination Centre Zone 3 identified the fishing boat's location and called nearby vessels to assist.
Between 3.30 pm and 5.30 pm on Monday, the Japanese cargo ship HELIOS LEADER, which was on its way from Japan to Singapore, recovered all 303 people onboard.
Singaporean authorities later notified Sri Lanka that the people on board the boat had been rescued and were heading to Việt Nam. — VNS