Vietnam is making enquiries among its neighbours after a mystery vessel collided with a Vietnamese fishing boat, injuring nine sailors, the foreign ministry said.
The July 15 incident occurred off Vietnam’s central province of Binh Dinh, the ministry said on Wednesday.
The ministry had sent notes to “some countries in the region informing them of the case and asked them to be cooperative with Vietnam for clarification... to ensure safety for fishermen’s activities and maritime security,” he said.
He did not say which countries had been contacted.
The incident coincides with tensions with China over sovereignty over two South China Sea archipelagos: the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands.
Vietnam has asked China to release a fishing boat and 12 sailors detained in June in waters around the Paracels, located southeast of China’s Hainan island.
Last month, Vietnam’s foreign ministry said China had ordered a fishing ban in some areas of the South China Sea, “including those under Vietnam’s sovereignty”.
Fishermen interviewed by AFP in central Vietnam have reported an increasing number of armed Chinese patrol ships in disputed waters around the Paracels and near Hainan Island.