The mainland could contact the captain and the crew on fishing boat QNg 66487 TS at 12:45hrs on Oct. 16, 2010, reported the People’s Committee of the central coastal province of Quang Ngai.

The fishing boat was drifting at sea for the last few days after its engine broke down and the fishermen had to use blankets to make up a sail. It was later spotted by a Chinese patrol ship and nine fishermen on board together with the boat were taken to the Tru Cau island of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago for shelter.

On the afternoon of the same day, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son met Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Sun Guoxiang, requesting that China soon verify and confirm the information for Vietnam to safely bring the boat and its crew home at the earliest.

According to the Vietnamese Embassy in China, at 17:30hrs (Vietnamese time) on Oct. 16, 2010, the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that China took fishing boat QNg 66487 TS and its nine-member crew to an island of the Hoang Sa archipelago.

The Chinese side has provided food and drinks, the embassy said. However, due to the bad weather, the fishing boat and its crew will have to stay on the island for the next few days, said the embassy.

The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said it would have exchanges with China to safely bring fishing boat QNg 66487 TS and its nine-member crew home as soon as possible./.