Le Van Giup, 49, captain of the fishing boat PY92305 TS from Tuy Hoa city, reported to the Phu Yen Province Border Guard Command this morning that his and three other boats were threatened by three Chinese naval vessels last night.
One of the crew on the ship owned by Nguyen Van Chien , Photo: Tuoi Tre
The other three -- PY92105 TS of Le Van Khang, 46; PY90217 TS of Nguyen Van Chien, 36; and PY92223 TS of Le Thai Binh, 46 -- are also from Tuy Hoa.
Giup reported that while his boat was operating 15 nautical miles southeast off Da Dong Island, part of Truong Sa (Spratly Islands), he saw three Chinese naval ships traveling towards him.
After firing four shots into the sea close to his vessel, the Chinese boats stopped in front of it.
Giup had to change direction quickly to avoid a collision with them.
After that, the Chinese ships continued to sail close to his and another Vietnamese boat.
Early this morning, after the Chinese vessels left, Giup informed Captain Nguyen Ngoc Ry, deputy head of the Border Guard Command’s Da Rang Control Team based in Tuy Hoa.
Below is the transcript of the conversation between Giup and Ry:
- Nguyen Ngoc Ry speaking
- I am Giup from ship PY92305. My ship was fired at by Chinese military boats.
- What happened to you?
- They fired four shots into the sea near Muoi’s vessel [Muoi is the owner of one of the other fishing boats] to threaten us and drive us away.
- When did that happen?
- Yesterday evening.
Captain Nguyen Ngoc Ry
- Where was your boat exactly at that time?
- When my vessel was at 8o 56’ 23'' north and 112o 45’ 31'' east, just 15 nautical miles southeast off Truong Sa, three Chinese military boats approached my boat and fired four shots into the sea close to Muoi's boat. If I had not turned the wheel in time, my ship would have collided with them.
- Did they leave after that?
- They left for a moment and then returned and came alongside mine and Muoi’s boats. Many people in those ships had guns in hand and said something.
- What did you do then?
- We kept silent as if we did not understand what they wanted us to do. But last night, their boats were constantly alongside our boats to drive us away. It was not until this morning when we returned to Da Dong Island that they left.
- Are you sure they were Chinese ships?
- Yes, that’s right. They were equipped with a lot of weapons that make us fearful. I have recorded the numbers of their boats -- 989, 27, and 28.
- OK. Let me report the incident to my superior.
Source: Tuoi Tre
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