Vessel Guo Xing 1, bearing the flag of Belize, sank in waters 12km to the east of Tomari Port in Aomori, Japan. — Photo vessels4sale.blogspot.com
TOKYO — Five Vietnamese sailors were reported missing after a cargo vessel sank off the coast of Aomori prefecture in Japan on February 29, according to a Vietnamese official.
Vessel Guo Xing 1, bearing the flag of Belize, sank after colliding with a Japanese fishing boat in waters 12km to the east of Tomari Port in Aomori, said First Secretary of the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan Nguyễn An Tiến.
On board the cargo vessel were 14 crew members, including six Vietnamese, seven Chinese and a Filipino. Only one sailor, a 34-year-old Vietnamese national named Nguyễn Văn Hải from Hải Phòng, survived after he was saved by another boat nearby.
The others were still unaccounted for, he said.
The diplomat noted that Hải is in a stable condition and wishes to return home. The embassy is working with Japanese authorities to ensure his rights, he added.
Five missing Vietnamese sailors are Nguyễn Văn Thảo, 30, from Nghệ An; Hồ Quang Thọ, 40, from Bình Định; Nguyễn Việt Khánh, 30, Nguyễn Văn Trưởng, 28, and Phan Hồng Quân, 29, from Hải Phòng.
The Japan Coast Guard has sent patrol ships to the site to search for those missing, Tiến said, adding that the Vietnamese Embassy will continue providing updates on the incident and actively work with the Japanese authorities to protect the citizens’ rights. — VNS