Deputy PM orders improved capacity of search, rescue, sovereignty defence

Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh visited the Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Centre (Vietnam MRCC) on February 8, stressing the need for improving the search, rescue, and sovereignty safeguarding capacity.

He spoke highly of the centre’s cooperation with other forces, including the naval, fisheries resources surveillance, and coast guard forces, as well as fishermen, to save people in distress at sea within the shortest periods of time.

Another great duty of the MRCC and relevant forces is to defend the country’s maritime sovereignty, the Deputy PM noted, adding Vietnam possesses considerable sovereignty and sovereign rights at sea, and that safeguarding maritime sovereignty is the common responsibility of all forces.

Given this, he requested the Ministry of Transport consider the proposal for enhancing the search, rescue, and sovereignty defence capacity.

MRCC General Director Bui Van Minh said the maritime rescue force acts as the coordinator of search and rescue activities in sea areas of Vietnam and has also taken part in rescue operations in international waters.

During 2016 - 2021, it dealt with over 3,200 incident reports, sent specialised vehicles for search and rescue purposes for 432 times, and directly saved 5,450 people and 446 boats in distress at sea, including 215 people and 11 vehicles of foreign nationalities.

Notably, they directly conducted rescue operations in 68 cases in the vicinity of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos during the period.