Vietnamese Coast Guard Cutter Collides with Indonesian Warship

By The Maritime Executive 04-29-2019 05:54:54

On Sunday, Indonesia's government alleged that a Vietnamese coast guard cutter rammed an Indonesian Navy ship as it attempted to apprehend a Vietnamese fishing vessel. 

Video from the scene appears to show a Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance cutter overtaking the Indonesian Navy ship on the port side, then closing in and colliding. In an unredacted version of the video, the crew of the Indonesian vessel can be heard cursing at the Vietnamese ship as it backs away. 

According to a statement from the Indonesian Navy, the fishing vessel sank after an accidental collision. The Indonesian vessel apprehended a dozen fishermen, and two more were rescued by the Vietnamese coast guard ship, according to the Indonesian account. 

Indonesia's government summoned Vietnam's deputy ambassador to express its displeasure over the encounter. Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir asserted that the Vietamese vessels' actions endangered the safety of the Indonesian vessel's crew and violated international law. 

It is the second incident this year in which Indonesian forces have had a tense encounter with Vietnamese government vessels within the Indonesian EEZ. In February, the Indonesian Navy chased off two Vietnamese government ships on suspicion of "hostile intent," according to Indonesian fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti. 

Pudjiastuti announced Monday that her ministry will soon sink dozens of foreign fishing boats that it has confiscated for fishing in its waters illegally. “On the 4th we will be sinking 51 boats, mostly from Vietnam,” she said in a Twitter update.