28 Vietnamese crew and 5 fishing boats captured in Thai waters

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A total of 28 Vietnamese crew and five fishing boats were captured by the Thai Navy’s frigate and patrol boats for illegal fishing in the Thai waters yesterday and today.

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All the crew were later brought to the Navy’s Second Fleet base in Songkhla yesterday and last night from Pattani and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces for detention.

According to the Second Fleet commander Vice Admiral Pornchai Pinthong, the Navy’s frigate “Khamronsin” captured three Vietnamese fishing boats and detained 15 crew members after they entered the Thai territorial waters.

The frigate of the Second Fleet based in Songkhla was on the way back from routine patrol off Pattani coast in the southern sea when it spotted the three vessels fishing for sea cucumbers with trawl nets near Ko Losin islet, about 11 nautical miles from Pattani coast.

All were captured.

While escorting the boats on the way back to the Songkhla base, two fishing boats sank after being hit by high waves and water leaking into their engine rooms.

All 15 crew were then rescued and taken on board the frigate, accompanied by another boat to the base. They arrived at Songkhla base late last night.

Meanwhile two other Vietnamese boats with 13 crew were also captured last night off Nakhon Si Thammarat coast by Tor 97 patrol boat, and escorted to the Songkhla base.

Questioning all the captured skippers and crew revealed that the crew of two boats captured by Tor 97 patrol boat off Nakhon Si Thammarat province came from Kien Giang province in Vietnam.

The three others captured by the frigate came from Ca Mau province.

Initially all were charged for illegally fishing in Thai waters.

The authorities were in the process of coordinating with the Vietnamese embassy for acknowledgement.

All were sent to Songkhla police station for trial before being sent back.