China rescues 330 Vietnamese fishermen after typhoon
December 30, 2006 9:09pm CST
Sun May 21, 8:00 AM ET BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese rescue ships have saved 330 Vietnamese fishermen who were aboard 22 boats caught in storms brought by powerful Typhoon Chanchu, state television has reported. The search, which the TV report called "the largest international rescue operation at sea ever conducted by China," had been going on for close to 40 hours and was continuing. Rescuers, who also salvaged 21 bodies, had given the Vietnamese fishermen food, water and fuel, TV said Sunday. The majority of the rescue operations -- saving all but one of the 22 boat crews -- was carried out by the "Nanhaijiu 111" ship, Xinhua news agency reported. The agency said the rescue ship was dispatched Friday, after Vietnam asked China for help. Vietnam's foreign ministry called the Chinese embassy in Hanoi on Saturday to express "sincere thanks" for the help, according to Xinhua. Vietnamese officials have reported at least 37 Vietnamese fishermen are dead and hundreds more missing since scores of ships got caught by the typhoon mid-week hundreds of kilometers (miles) from home in Chinese waters. In the early hours of Saturday a Chinese ship rescued 97 Vietnamese fishermen stranded on a remote Chinese atoll, said the state-run Xinhua news agency.