Vietnamese man attempts to reach wife in India using rubber boat

Vietnamese man attempts to reach wife in India using rubber boat

March 24, 2022

Love-sick Vietnamese man, 37, is rescued off Thailand after attempting to row 1,240 miles to India to see his wife in a rubber dinghy having been kept apart for two years due to Covid

  • Ho Hoang Hung, 37, tried to row 1,240 miles from Phuket, Thailand, to India
  • Hoped to reach wife in Mumbai after a two year Covid enforced separation   
  • Set out in rubber dinghy stocked with noodles and water but without any navigational assistance
  • He was rescued off the Similan Islands, 50 miles from the Thai mainland  

A Vietnamese man who tried to row 1,240 miles from Thailand to India to see his wife was in custody Thursday after being rescued off the Thai coast.

Ho Hoang Hung set off from the Thai holiday island of Phuket in an inflatable rubber dinghy, equipped with water and instant noodles but no navigation system, planning to cross the Bay of Bengal near the start of cyclone season.

A fishing boat found the 37-year-old on Wednesday near the Similan Islands, about 50 miles off the Thai mainland, and contacted the navy’s maritime security unit, which came and rescued him.

Ho Hoang Hung was spotted by a fishing boat – then picked up by the Thai navy

Ho told officials he was trying to reach his wife, who works in Mumbai, after spending two years apart because of Covid travel restrictions, according to Captain Pichet Songtan from the Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre. 

Pichet said the man was found with no map, compass, GPS or change of clothes, and only a limited amount of water.

He had initially flown to Bangkok but found that without a visa he could not travel on to India, and so took a bus to Phuket, where he acquired the dinghy.

 Ho hoped to travel from Phucket in Thailand to India, where his wife is working in Mumbai

After setting off around March 5, Ho was apparently held up by headwinds, making limited progress in the two weeks before he was found.

Thai officials said Ho will be returned to Phuket for further questioning.

‘We have contacted the Vietnamese embassy as well as Indian embassy but not had a reply yet,’ Pichet said.

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