Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Ben Tre (VNA) – Fisherman To Hong Ngoc, who was thought to be missing after a collision between Thai naval forces and Vietnamese fishing boats last week, has reportedly returned to Vietnam.

The Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department said on July 13 that Ngoc has come back home safely and is in good health.

After receiving the news, the Vietnam Embassy in Thailand has asked Thailand to halt the search for the missing Vietnamese fisherman the same day.

At around 14:00 on July 8, Thai naval forces opened fire on three Vietnamese fishing boats from Ben Tre with 18 fishermen on board. The boats had been chased off by Thai naval force police as they were allegedly found illegally operating in Thailand’s waters.

The shots injured two fishermen. While being escorting to land, two of the three boats started to sink due to previous collisions.

Ngoc hid inside one of the two sinking ships that was less damaged. When Thai police left, he came out, bailed water out of the boat and sailed back home.

Upon his arrival, he contacted his relatives in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre and reported to the local authority.

On July 11, representatives from the Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department met with officials of the Thai Embassy in Hanoi to protest the use of violence against fishermen in any circumstances and requested Thailand’s Foreign Ministry to investigate the firing upon Vietnamese fishermen.

The two wounded sailors were confirmed as being in stable condition, while officials from the Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand have been working with the Thai police on protection procedures for 15 fishermen who were detained on July 8.-VNA