Photo: Viet Tuan/Illustration
Fishing boats turned away from Hoang Sa Archipelago after storm hits.
Six fishing boats from central Quang Nam province have been forced to take shelter in an area five nautical miles from the Hoang Sa Archipelago and Bong Bay Island, according to the National Search and Rescue Committee (NSRC).
The Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control under the NSRC and Border Forces of Quang Nam province have kept in touch with the owners of the vessels.
It was previously reported that at 9.50am on August 12 the six vessels with 259 crew on board hit bad weather and high seas while 40 nautical miles away from Hoang Sa Archipelago and Bong Bay Island and requested permission to shelter.
The NSRC then proposed that the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) contact China to request authorities allow the vessels to take shelter.
However, at 10pm on August 12 the Consular Department announced that Chinese authorities said the areas of Hoang Sa Archipelago and Bong Bay Island were not appropriate to shelter and requested the six vessels leave the area.
The NSRC has guided the Quang Nam Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control in requesting provincial authorities coordinate with the boat owners to notify the vessels of the situation and to head elsewhere for shelter.
The Hoang Sa Archipelago and Bong Bay Island belong to Vietnam but are currently occupied by China.