Vietnamese fishing boat seized in Gulf

Vietnamese fishing boat seized in Gulf

HTMS Thai Muang spotlights a Vietnamese fishing boat illegally operating in the Gulf of Thailand off Nakhon Si Thammarat province on Tuesday night. (Photo supplied)
HTMS Thai Muang spotlights a Vietnamese fishing boat illegally operating in the Gulf of Thailand off Nakhon Si Thammarat province on Tuesday night. (Photo supplied)

NAKHON SI THAMMARAT: A navy ship intercepted and seized a Vietnamese trawler seen dredging the ocean bed for sea cucumbers and arrested the five crewmembers for illegally fishing in Thai waters.

The Second Fleet said three Vietnamese vessels were spotted trawling for sea cucumber in the Gulf of Thailand about 30 nautical miles from Koh Kra off the coast of Nakhon Si  Thammarat about 1.30pm on Tuesday.

The fast attack craft HTMS Thai Muang was deployed to stop the illegal fishing. When it found them on Tuesday night they fled. The ship fired warning shots and ordered them to stop. They ignored the warning.

One of the boats was stopped and boarded 42 nautical miles off Koh Kra about 7.30am on Wednesday, and the five crew members arrested.

The boat broke down while being escorted to Songkhla naval base. HTMS Thai Muang began towing it and navy engineers repaired it on the way to the mainland.

All the five crew tested negative for Covid-19. They face charges related to illegal fishing in Thai waters. The vessel was impounded.

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