China has sent eight ships and two helicopterss to help Vietnam find a CASA coast guard plane that crashed with nine people aboard while looking for the missing Su-30 fighter jet and pilot.
The Chinese forces are searching on China’s territory, south east of Vietnam’s Bach Long Vy Island and east of the delimitation of the Gulf of Tonkin between Vietnam and China.
China has already deployed a big rescue ship, the NANHAIJIU 101, to help with the search.
A CASA plane of the Vietnam Coast Guard. Photo by People’s Army Newspaper
A black rubber mat, about two square meters wide and one centimeter thick, has been recovered by a Vietnamese defense ship on Saturday. 49 vessels and other special devices with more than 750 Vietnamese people were searching near Hai Phong’s Bach Long Vy Island, according to the Office of the Steering Committee for Search and Rescue.
On June 14, Vietnam’s fighter jet Su-30MK2 crashed offshore the central province of Nghe An. The jet had two pilots on board, one of whom, Major Nguyen Huu Cuong, was rescued but the other, Lieutenant Colonel Tran Quang Khai, 43, was found dead at sea and has been brought ashore. The CASA-212-40 with 9 people on it went missing on June 16 while searching for the Su-30MK2.
Vietnam’s Third Military Region, the People’s Navy, the Border Guard, Coard Guard, and fishing boats have been mobilized in the search and rescue efforts.
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has said from the Steering Committee for Search and Rescue of the CASA plane in Hai Phong: “We have to find the crew members at all costs.”