|A Vietnamese soldier helps a Sri Lankan child off the Japanese cargo ship HELIOS LEADER at a port in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — More than 300 Sri Lankans rescued from a ship in distress off Việt Nam are in stable condition and have been provided with temporary accommodation, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lê Thị Thu Hằng told a press conference on Wednesday.
At 6pm on November 6, Myanmar-flagged fishing vessel LADY R3, which was attempting to carry 305 Sri Lankan citizens to Canada, got into difficulties and began drifting about 258 nautical miles southeast of Vũng Tàu Cape in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province.
The ship sent out a mayday call as the weather conditions worsened.
Upon receiving the distress signal, Region 3’s maritime search and rescue coordination centre located the fishing vessel and broadcasted emergency signals to other ships.
Between 3:30 to 5:30 pm on November 7, the Japanese cargo ship HELIOS LEADER, en route from Japan to Singapore, approached the LADY R3 and rescued all onboard the fishing vessel.
All of the Sri Lankan citizens have been handed over to authorities in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu and the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in HCM City. They are now staying in Vũng Tàu City, in Đất Đỏ and Xuyên Mộc districts.
According to the spokesperson, after hearing about the incident, the Foreign Ministry informed the Sri Lanka Embassy in Hà Nội, and is closely coordinating with certain international organisations, relevant agencies and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province to deploy humanitarian aid in line with Vietnamese law and international practice.
She stressed that the ministry is working with relevant sides in the spirit of humanity, responsibility and international cooperation.
Hằng noted that Vietnamese maritime forces have successfully rescued foreign vessels in distress in the waters under Việt Nam’s sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction in the past. — VNS