Vietnam man arrested for trying to row from Thailand to India in inflatable dinghy to see his wife

They had not met each other for two years due to Covid pandemic

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Friday 25 March 2022 12:17
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<p>Thai navy rescues Vietnamese man who had set sail for India</p>

Thai navy rescues Vietnamese man who had set sail for India

A Vietnamese man who tried to row through the Bay of Bengal from Thailand to India on an inflatable rubber dinghy was arrested after being rescued off the Thai coast on Wednesday.

Ho Huang Hung, 37, embarked on the dangerous 2,000km journey from Phuket to meet his wife, who works in the Indian city of Mumbai. They had been unable to meet each other for the past two years due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

He was found near the Similan Islands, about 80km off the Thai mainland, after he had spent 18 days alone at sea, and as a cyclone was brewing in the Bay of Bengal. He was rescued by Thailand’s navy after a fisherman spotted him floating on a small yellow and blue boat.

Mr Ho took a flight from Saigon to Bangkok on 2 March, and planned to take a connecting flight to Mumbai. However, he could not get a visa to India.

So instead, he took a bus to Phuket and started his boat journey around 5 March. The man set sail with only 10 packets of noodles, a tank of water and some luggage. He didn’t have any maps or a compass, authorities said.

He will now be taken back to Phuket for further questioning.

“We have contacted the Vietnamese embassy as well as the Indian embassy but not had a reply yet,” captain Pichet Songtan from the Thai maritime enforcement command centre told AFP.

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