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Vietnam: Fatal Boat Accident in Ha Long Bay Raises Safety Concerns

By Larry Habegger and Laurie Weed | Permalink | No Comments | October 9th, 2012 | Trackback

Five tourists drowned in Ha Long Bay Oct. 5 when another boat collided with their vessel and overturned it, throwing all 17 passengers into the water. None were wearing life jackets, and neither boat had safety or medical equipment on board. Cruising around the picturesque bay has become one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, with as many as 10,000 people per day loading onto vessels that range from antique wooden junks to small fishing boats. Following another fatal boat accident that killed 12 people last year, authorities implemented new safety standards for tour boat operators. However, it seems enforcement has been haphazard and not all operators are in compliance. Visitors to Ha Long Bay are strongly encouraged to confirm availability of safety equipment before embarking on any cruise, and to insist on wearing life jackets

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