The BD 97469 TS helmed by captain Vo Ngoc Do got caught in a storm and sank on the evening of October 27.
The survivors were returned to their home villages on November 1 and welcomed by their grateful families and neighbors.
“At first there were eight of us struggling to hold on to a plank of wood and an empty canister, but five of them gradually succumbed to exhaustion”, said one of the surviving crew members, Le Minh Don, in a shaky voice.
The remaining three persevered by consuming rainwater and even floating Styrofoam and seawater to survive, Don said.
Le Minh Don (20) recounting the horrific event
Another survivor, Vo Van Hoai (35), was the younger brother of captain Vo Ngoc Do (41). Captain Do went missing in the storm, leaving behind his wife and young son.
The third survivor, Huynh Xuan Phi (35), was greeted by his distressed 62-year-old single father who has mental problems. Phi himself suffers from a heart disease from birth, villagers said.
The Hong Kongese cargo vessel M/V Fortune Iris on the evening of October 29 picked up the three survivors, who insisted on staying behind to search for their fellow crewmates.
The three then boarded a vessel of Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance, local authorities said.
Another fishing boat on October 27 received a distress signal from BD 97469 TS and sailed towards the storm, where this vessel itself encountered engine problems. Fortunately, all of its crew members were safe and also transferred to the Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance on October 29.
There are still 23 people from different villages of Binh Dinh province missing at sea two fishing vessels sank in late October this year.
Survivor Huynh Xuan Phi bowing to his ancestors
>>>Clip: Survivors relates the boat wreck to SGGP reporters