Packed tourist boat sinks in Vietnam bay; 12 die
Updated: 2011-02-18 13:10
An overnight boat packed with sleeping tourists, including Americans, Australians and Britons, sank early on Thursday in Vietnam's scenic Ha Long Bay, killing 11 foreigners and their Vietnamese guide, officials said.
Nine foreign tourists and six locals were rescued from the chilly water by other tour boats anchored nearby. They were rushed to a hospital as teams scoured the area for more survivors. Those rescued reported seeing a plank of the wooden live-aboard ship ripping away, followed by gushing water inundating the boat and quickly pulling it down around 5 am near Titov Island, said Vu Van Thin, chief administrator of Quang Ninh province.
"Crew members tried to stop the water from coming in and alerted the tourists who were sleeping, but the water came in and the boat sank quickly," he said. "All of the 12 people who died were in the cabins."
There were 27 people on the boat, including six crew members, Thin said. It was anchored alongside dozens of other cruise boats, and weather conditions were calm at the time of the incident.
Twelve bodies have been found, including those of tourists from the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, said Ngo Van Hung, director of Ha Long Bay's management board. The body of a Vietnamese tour guide was also recovered, and all of the dead have been sent to Bai Chay Hospital for identification.
Japan's Kyodo news agency reported that one Japanese was among the dead.
Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam's most popular tourism attractions, located near the Chinese border in the Beibu Gulf, also known as the Gulf of Tonkin, about three hours east of the capital, Hanoi. Many visitors opt to stay overnight on boats with sleeping cabins to cruise the picturesque bay, a World Heritage Site dotted with limestone formations.
In 2009, a tour boat sank during a storm on the bay, killing five, including three foreign vacationers.
1. In what bay did the boat sink?
2. How many people died?
3. How many people were onboard?
1. Ha Long Bay.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.
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