11 foreign tourists and a Vietnamese guide have drowned after their traditional wooden tour boat sank in Halong Bay in north-east Vietnam, just before dawn on Thursday. Rest in peace.
Halong Bay, a World Heritage Site renowned for its hundreds of tiny islands and swamp forests, is one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist spots. The Thursday mishap was Vietnam’s deadliest tour boat accident since opening up to foreign visitors some 25 years ago.
Most of the travellers were sleeping in the cabins when the water came in and the boat sank quickly. Fifteen people, including nine foreigners, were able to jump into waters and rescued by other tour boats anchored close by.
It is not yet clear why the boat sank. The news send chills down my spine, reminded me of my overnight boat trip at the bay not too distant time ago. An enjoyable trip could turn into tragedy in split seconds without warning.
[Update] Human error was to blame for the boat sinking, more on BBC.