Fisherman says best day of his life when rescue missing pilot
VietNamNet Bridge – Seven fishermen from the central province of Ha Tinh’s Thach Bang Commune have rescued Major Nguyen Huu Cuong, one of two pilots on board the missing fighter jet Su-30MK2.
Safe and sound: Major Nguyen Huu Cuong (centre), one of two pilots on board the missing fighter jet Su-30MK2, returned home safely after being rescued by seven fishermen in Thach Bang Commune in the central province of Nghe An. Photo dantri.com.vn
In an interview with Thanh Nien (Youth) Newspaper, Captain Pham Xuan Le, one of the rescuers, said that the moment he and others brought pilot Cuong on board their boat was one of the happiest of his life.
According to Le, he discovered Cuong afloat on the sea at 4am on the morning of June 15, when his crew were about to cast a fishing net in the area, about 56 nautical miles from Cua Sot Harbour.
“Other fishermen and I were sleeping when I heard the voice calling the boat. Due to the strong wind and the northern accent of the caller, I thought some fishing boat nearby was calling. After clearly hearing he was calling for help again, I instantly thought about the missing pilot on the plane that I heard on the radio”, he said.
Le immediately woke the others up to change course towards the sound and search for the downed pilot. On discovery of Cuong, they immediately contacted local authorities ashore for assistance.
The other rescuers involved were Nguyen Ngoc Dau, Tran Anh Long, Vo Ngoc Lam, Nguyen Van Xuan, Le Hong Thai and Nguyen Van Hoat.
Le added that Cuong was in a stable condition when he was brought on board. He still had some food and water with him so he managed to survive until he was rescued.
The fighter jet Su-30MK2, with two pilots on board, went missing on June 14 during a training session off the coast of Nghe An. Senior Lieutenant Colonel Tran Quang Khai was deputy head and chief of staff of Regiment 923.
The body of Khai was found on June 17 in the area of Hon Mat, an islet 40 nautical miles off the coast of the central province of Nghe An.