Vietnam has stopped looking for 48 sailors missing after last week’s storms, authorities said Thursday.
“We have stopped searching for them after six consecutive days following the order from the National Committee for Search and Rescue (NCSR),” said Bui Hoang Tien, deputy director of the Centre for Search and Rescue Number 1 of the NCSR. “There is no hope of their survival.”
The missing consisted of 23 crew members from the Phu Tan freighter and 25 fishermen. Twenty of the fishermen were on one boat from Ba Ria Vung Tau province.
The Phu Tan went down last Thursday off central Vietnam’s Quang Binh province in stormy seas, while the boat from Ba Ria Vung Tau province sank on December 18 in the South China Sea.
The storm lashed the coast from last Wednesday to Friday, leaving seven confirmed dead, and sinking a total of 25 fishing and cargo vessels, the NCSR said.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, disasters related to annual heavy rains and floods have killed an average of 750 people in each of the past 10 years and incurred costs equivalent to 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product.