8 Taiwanese tourists die in boat accidents

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2012, 8:24pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

Five Taiwanese tourists died when their cruise boat collided with another vessel on Wednesday in Vietnam’s scenic Halong Bay, a hospital official and state media reported.

Thirteen other tourists were rescued after the accident, Vietnam TV reported. It didn’t mention the fate of the crew.

Hospital deputy director Giang Qouc Duy said one of victims was a child.

Halong Bay is visited by many thousands of tourists each year on mostly small cruise vessels.

In February last year, 11 international tourists and one Vietnamese were killed when their boat sank.

Safety standards are reportedly lax, especially on the cheaper cruises, and there have been several deadly accidents over the years.

The bay is three hours east of Hanoi and is renowned for its around 3,000 limestone islands.

In another incident, a boat carrying 30 Taiwanese tourists capsized in the central Philippines, killing three of them, officials say.

Coastguard official Ronnie Hiponia said the remaining 27 tourists were rescued by passing boats some 550 metres off Boracay Island, famed for its powdery white sand and clear waters. He said two women aged 71 and 49 and a two-year-old girl trapped under the overturned boat were declared dead on arrival in hospital.

Hiponio says the tourists were island-hopping on Wednesday when their boat was hit by strong winds and heavy rains, causing it to capsize.

He says authorities are investigating if the boat was overloaded. All the tourists were wearing life vests.

Two Filipinos drowned in a separate incident on Wednesday on Boracay.