PM urges search and rescue on missing fishermen

October 17, 2023 - 19:05
Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính on Tuesday urged the National Committee for Disaster Response and Search and Rescue, as well as ministries and local authorities in the central region, to urgently search fishermen on two sunken vessels off Song Tử Tây Island.


Members of the Quảng Nam Province's Disaster Prevention and Rescue and Search Centre plan the operation. — Photos courtesy of Quảng Nam Portal

QUẢNG NAM — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính on Tuesday urged the National Committee for Disaster Response and Search and Rescue, as well as ministries and local authorities in the central region, to urgently search for fishermen missing after two vessels sunk off Song Tử Tây Island (Southwest Cay) of Việt Nam’s Trường Sa (Spratly Islands).

Reports from the Việt Nam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Centre showed that at around 1.00am on Tuesday, the fishing boat QNa 90927 TS was hit by bad weather and sank approximately 135 nautical miles off the island.

A total of 37 fishermen were rescued by the fishing boat QNa 91782 TS, while one fisherman remained missing.

Around 7.30pm on Monday, the fishing boat QNa 90129 TS with 54 member crews sank due to a tornado, about 70 nautical miles off the island. In total, 40 fishermen were safely rescued by other passing vessels, leaving 14 fishermen missing.

By Tuesday noon, the search and rescue teams have found two of the missing, identified as Đỗ Văn Hải and Đặng Minh Vương, both residing in Tam Giang Commune in Núi Thành District. Despite initial first-aid efforts, due to prolonged submersion in the sea, their health had deteriorated, and they both died. Currently, there are still 12 fishermen from this fishing boat who remain unaccounted for.

In the Directive No.970/CĐ-TTg, PM Chính instructed the National Committee for Disaster Response and Search and Rescue, ministers, and chairpersons of the people's committees of the localities in the central region to focus on the search and rescue tasks. It would cooperate with the Ministry of Transport, local authorities and relevant agencies to enhance the direction of effective search and rescue activities, ensuring the absolute safety of individuals and assets involved.

The Ministry of National Defence was requested to coordinate closely with relevant units and forces to maximise resources and promptly implement search and rescue measures for the missing fishermen.

The people's committees of localities in the central region, including Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi, Bình Định, Phú Yên, Khánh Hoà, Ninh Thuận, Bình Thuận and Đà Nẵng City would work with the Ministry of Transport to review vessels moored or operating in the sea areas to participate in the search and rescue work.

Currently, the weather conditions in the central region are very complicated. PM Chính instructed relevant ministries and local authorities in the central region to strictly implement Directive No. 898/CĐ-TTg issued on September 28, 2023, on concentrating efforts to respond and overcome the consequences of heavy rains and floods, and Directive No. 950/CĐ-TTg issued on October 12, 2023, on proactive flood response in the central region.

All relevant units and vehicles should be ready to respond to emergency situations, perform rescue and relief operations as needed, he said.

The Government Office would closely monitor and urge the related ministries, agencies, and localities to effectively implement the Directive and report any issues or difficulties encountered in a timely manner to the Prime Minister.

The Quảng Nam Province’s disaster prevention and rescue and search centre said rescue forces have set off to search for the missing fishermen. Seven other fishing boats joined the search.

Last week, 14 fishermen from Thanh Hóa were rescued off the coast of Đà Nẵng after encountering difficulties.

On Tuesday morning, the low pressure system in the southwest sea of the Hoàng Sa (Paracel) Islands strengthened into a tropical depression.

The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF) said that from now until Thursday, the area from Quảng Trị Province to Quảng Nam Province would see severe heavy rain with accumulation of 100-250mm, in some places over 350mm.

Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Ngãi and Kon Tum provinces would have moderate rain, some places having heavy rain. Average accumulation would be 40-150mm, but in some places it would reach over 200mm.

From Thursday, northern and north central regions are likely to experience heavy rain.

People should be aware of the risk of flash floods, landslides in mountainous areas, and flooding of rice and agricultural crops in low-lying areas. — VNS