The Phuket News

Vietnamese man paddles for India

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A VIETNAMESE MAN who had flown into Phuket, rented a dinghy and attempted to paddle to India to see his family has been rescued after spending 10 days seemingly lost at sea.

The Sea Air Rescue (SAR) unit of the Royal Thai Navy confirmed that Ho Hoang Hung, 37, was picked up on Mar 23 about five miles off the Similan Islands after officers based at their Thai Muang base in Phang Nga had been alerted of the man’s plight by the local fishing trawler Petchrungr­uang.

Pol Col Somphop Khamkhana of the Similan Navy SAR set off with a team of officers to locate the man based on coordinate­s provided by the trawler.

Once they did manage to locate him they realised there was a language barrier issue and initially Mr Ho was not granted entry to the navy boat. Instead his dinghy was tied to the stern of the boat while his documentat­ion was checked. Mr Ho was provided with water and food while the background check was conducted.

It was later confirmed that he had entered Thailand via Phuket Airport, although the exact date of his entry was not revealed by officers.

After entering the country, Mr Ho had rented a rubber dinghy and paddle from a vendor in Phuket and set off towards India where his family is currently located. Mr Ho admitted that he does not possess a valid visa to enter India.

He had been at sea for 10 days before being rescued.

Police confirmed they were working with Immigratio­n to verify the exact details of Mr Ho’s entry into Thailand and would coordinate with the Vietnamese embassy in order to determine next steps.

Eakkapop Thongtub

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 ?? Photo: Supplied ?? The man’s dinghy was tied to the Navy boat while his documents were checked and verified.
Photo: Supplied The man’s dinghy was tied to the Navy boat while his documents were checked and verified.

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