One could think of the beginning of a film, and yet this story is very real. It is that of a Vietnamese who tried to reach India by rowing to his wife. Fortunately, the latter was rescued by the Thai Navy, as we learned on Thursday.
The story begins in early March. Ho Hoang Hung departs Phuket in southern Thailand aboard a small dinghy carrying just a few cans of water and sachets of instant noodles.
His aim was then to cross the Bay of Bengal and reach India some 2,000 kilometers away to see his wife, from whom he has been separated for two years due to strict travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, the 37-year-old was finally sighted by a fishing boat near Thailand’s Similan Islands, around 80 kilometers from the mainland.
Two weeks away
The fishermen then contacted the authorities, who came to rescue him and took him into custody, said Captain Pichet Songtan of the Thai Maritime Security Command Center.
Ho Hoang Hung had no chart, compass, GPS or spare clothing and only a limited supply of water, the captain added.
But his journey had begun earlier, in Vietnam, from where he had flown to Bangkok. When he learned that he needed a visa to go to India, he took a bus to Phuket, where he bought an inflatable boat.
Seemingly hampered by headwinds, he made little headway in the two weeks of his journey. Ho Hoang Hung will now be transferred to Phuket, where he will be interrogated. Thai authorities have contacted the Vietnamese and Indian embassies to investigate his case. If love doesn’t make you blind, it makes you visibly unconscious…
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