The body of Vietnamese sailor Tran Duc Dat, who was shot dead by pirates off Singapore‚Äôs coast on December 7, was repatriated to Vietnam on Wednesday.
At 6:30 pm yesterday, Flight VN660 landed at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, carrying the body of Tran Duc Dat, 36, who died after suffering a gunshot to the forehead from a group of pirates who attacked his cargo boat three days earlier.
Besides Dat‚Äôs relatives, many representatives of the Ministry of Transport, the Vietnam Maritime Administration, the Vietnam Seafarers Union and the Vietnam Petroleum Transport Joint Stock Company ‚Äì the ship‚Äôs owner – greeted the plane.
Among the victim‚Äôs relatives was 5-year-old Tran Ngoc Diep, Dat‚Äôs daughter, who held a photo of Dat in her hands and repeatedly asked others: ‚ÄúWhere is my dad?‚Äù amid the mournful air of the hand-over of Dat‚Äôs body from relevant agencies to his family.
The victim‚Äôs body was carried to his native city of Hai Phong in the northern region last night and a funeral for the deceased is scheduled to take place this afternoon, December 11.
As reported, Dat was flown to Singapore‚Äôs Tan Tock Seng Hospital hours after the shooting, but he died due to the severity of the injury.
Dat was among the 16 crewmembers of the VP Asphalt 2 that was carrying 2,300 tons of asphalt from Singapore to Vietnam when a gang of armed pirates hijacked it at 4:30 am December 7 about 60 nautical miles off Singapore.
After taking the crewmembers‚Äô belongings, the pirates escaped on a speedboat an hour later.
The ship reported the case to the Vietnam Maritime Coordination Center (Vietnam MRCC), who asked Singaporean search and rescue forces to send a helicopter to the scene to take the victim ashore.
The Vietnamese Embassy coordinated with Singaporean authorities and the ship‚Äôs owner in assisting Dat‚Äôs family in carrying out procedures to repatriate his body to Vietnam.