At a press conference in Hanoi on January 3, Mr Thang emphasized that the most effective means for search activities will be mobilized. He also proposed that the Vietnamese Government ask the Japanese Government to direct search and rescue units to provide further support for Vietnam.
Mr Thang criticized leaders from the Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) for not immediately providing full information on the missing cargo ship.
Explaining why Vinalines had not timely reported the incident to the Vietnam Marine Rescue Cooperation Centre (MRCC), Le Thanh Son, deputy director of Vinalines, explained that this is the most modern vessel equipped with an automatic warning system and there had never been a similar incident involving such a modern cargo ship before.
“When the ship lost radio contact, we assumed that it might be lost in a military zone. The sunken ship incident is out of our control,” he said.
The sole surviving sailor of Vinalines Queen, Dau Ngoc Hung, is expected to be brought to Singapore on January 4. A working team from Vinalines flew to Singapore to conduct necessary formalities before bringing the sailor back to his homeland.
At present, Vinalines has rented helicopters and ships to seek the missing crewmen. Mr Son said Vinalines Queen has an insurance value of US$27 million while travel insurance for sailors can reach US$40,000.
Major general Pham Hoai Giang, chief of the National Committee for Search and Rescue, said that the committee has taken drastic measures to search for the sailors by all means.
Nguyen Anh Vu, MRCC general director said that the centre has directly contacted a rescue company from the Philippines to rent ships for search activities.
“We proposed a plan to use the state budget for these activities,” Vu said.