Thai fishermen reportedly rescued a Vietnamese man they found paddling in an inflatable boat to India in an attempt to reunite with his wife.
The man, identified as Ho Hoang Hung, 37, was found by the fishermen around 80 kilometers (49.71 miles) off the southern Thai province of Phang-nga and about 14 kilometers (8.70 miles) from the Similan Islands at 11.50 a.m. on Wednesday.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
Panya Permwongnitikorn, a steersperson of Tor Khrong Phet Rung Ruang fishing boat, reported the incident to marine park rangers and sailors, who found the Vietnamese man’s 2.50-meter-long (8.20-feet-long) inflatable boat towed to the fishing boat at 12:45 p.m. Officials took Hung to Mu Ko Similan National Park in Phang-nga, where he received further assistance.
While speaking to the Royal Thai Navy through an interpreter, Hung said he arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok from Ho Chi Minh City on March 2. He hoped to catch a flight to Mumbai, India, to reunite with his wife, who he married two years ago and ended up being seperated from due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
His plans were purportedly cut short when he failed to obtain a visa for India. Still determined to see his wife, Ho said he took a bus from Bangkok to Phuket, where he bought an inflatable boat. He claimed to have set sail on March 5 and spent 18 nights paddling to India, roughly 2,000 kilometers (1,242.74 miles) away from Thailand, until he was discovered.
The Thai fishermen reportedly found a nearly empty bottle of water, around 10 packs of instant noodles and a suitcase in his boat.