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The story of the fishermen returning from the dead

November 09, 2020 | 11:20

“The waves were too dangerous, the ship could not sail. We had to anchor but the storm still pushed against the ship. It was raining and we were unable to know the direction to sail the ship. The anchor was broken, everyone thought that they would die "- Captain Le Thanh Toan, Hoai Nhon town, Binh Dinh province, terrifyingly told the story of being "caught" in the middle of Storm Molave.

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Mr. Ho Long, a crew member on the fishing boat BD 98658 TS, suddenly met his son Ho Van Thi after being saved from the storm.

12 hours suffering the raging storm

On the afternoon of October 27, while sailing the ship no. 98658 TS away from storm Molave, Toan heard captain Nguyen Van Minh pray for help: "My ship is about to sink, please get here as fast as you can to save us!". Toan speeded the ship. However, when he arrived, he only saw the vast sea, fierce waves and winds. Minh's ship and 12 other sailors were missing. The 800-horsepower ship controlled by Toan could not pass the big waves. They then had to drop anchors and ropes, buoys, ... into the sea on either side of the ship, in order to reduce the raiding power of waves.

“The waves kept covering the whole ship, I shouted to my brothers to try to keep the ship "alive", which means the ship has to start its engine and float because we can only survive if the ship stays alive. Fourteen people together pumped water out of the ship, cut wood to keep the ship's side steady, and tried to fill holes that let water flow into the ship. Everyone strives with every bit of their strength for life. During 12 hours that we suffered the storm, by about 3 am on October 28, the wind became less intense, the brothers hugged each other and cried happily to know that the most dangerous storm had passed"- Captain Toan Tuong recite the story.

Toan's ship left Tam Quan fishing port (Hoai Nhon, Binh Dinh) on October 19. Only after going out to sea for a few days, they had to flee storm Saudel. Toan recalled: “My ship only caught about 8 tons of fish, which could not make up for the cost of the storm destruction. So we have to try hard to stay after the storm, catch more fish, then turn back to shore. Who would expect that the very dangerous Molave struck us again. Minh's ship fled to the southwest together with us to get out of the danger zone, unexpectedly, this storm was too strong, too fast, the impact range was too wide".

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Storm Molave was the 9th storm that hit Vietnam from the beginning of the year. (Photo: PLO)

Save the fishermen at all cost

“At 0 o'clock on October 28, we were ordered to sail our ship to save fishing boats of Binh Dinh province that sunk while they were evading storm Molave. At that time, the storm center was about 100 nautical miles from the coast of Quang Nam- Binh Dinh, its range of influence reaches Khanh Hoa. Through the communication system, our ship contacted the captain of the fishing boat, the 98658 TS. They gave the coordinates of the drifting vessel, so the fishery boat could approach this fishing vessel”- Captain Dang Thanh Su, fishing boat no. KN 467 (Sub-unit 4) said.

The sea was raging, making the rescue journey of the ship KN 467 lasted longer. Instead of traveling about 140 nautical miles as planned, they have to run further, until after 0 o'clock on October 29 they got access to the TS 98658. In the dark, in the midst of high waves and strong winds, the fishery force and fishing boats cooperated to tie the ligaments between the two ships to prevent the fishing boat from being washed away.

When the morning of October 29 was about to come, when the waves and winds eased, the crew of KN 467 quickly took care and encouraged the fishermen. The captain confided: “KN 467 ship had transferred food and water to the brothers on the fishing boat. We also gave the fishery boat the most delicious fish we caught."

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Storm Molave caused great destruction, especially in central provinces of Vietnam. (Photo: Tien Phong)

Family reunion in tear

The most surprising scene during this journey was Mr. Ho Long, a crew member on the fishing boat BD 98658 TS, after being saved by the fishery boat KN 467, when entering the Cam Ranh Border Fort to complete the handover procedures to the Binh Dinh province government, suddenly met his son Ho Van Thi (a soldier in the 4th Naval Regional Command). They hugged each other and busted into tear, Ho Long said in a gloomy voice: "I have not met my son for a long time. He took a leave to visit home some days before but I was at the sea at that time. Now, I had just come back from death. I thought I was dreaming when I met him. During the decades of going to the sea, I have also encountered numerous storms, but I have never seen such a strong, prolonged, dangerous storm".

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The old town of Hoi An was drained with floodwater. Along the street, shops were closed and trees were rooted, all due to storm Molave.

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Storm Molave, which is believed to be the strongest of its kind hitting Vietnam over the past 20 years wrecks many roads in central Vietnam.

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Hoi An ancient town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the central province of Quang Nam left a wreck after the storm No.9 Molave passed.

Valerie Mai