Viet Nam Rescues 16 Thai, Cambodian Sailors after Deadly Mutiny

Viet Nam has rescued 16 Thai and Cambodian fishermen adrift on a life raft after a mutiny in which they threw their captain overboard for killing a sailor.


Local fishermen in Viet Nam's far-southern Ca Mau province spotted the survivors floating on an improvised raft several kilometers offshore last Saturday, said Major To Thanh Ngoan of the provincial border guard.


"According to our initial information, the fishermen had a violent dispute with the captain of the Indonesian (registered) fishing boat, pushed him into the sea and took the boat into Vietnamese waters," he told AFP.


The sailors had reported that their Thai captain had killed a Cambodian sailor and pistol-whipped another, days before he himself ended up in the ocean during a violent dispute with his crew.


The two Thai and 14 Cambodian sailors then steered the 50-ton KM Pincu toward Cambodia but lost their bearings in the South China Sea and ran onto a sandbank off southern Viet Nam, the state-controlled daily said.


The sailors then made a life raft from life buoys and plastic containers, Major To Thanh Ngoan said.


"They were rescued on Saturday when they were drifting near the shore," he said. "None of them carried personal papers."


All the sailors were in good health following medical check-ups, he said.


They were being held while authorities launched an investigation and contacted the Thai and Cambodian embassies to ascertain their identities.



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