12 Dead as Tourist Boat Sinks in Vietnam
People from 9 countries among the dead
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2011 9:29 AM CST
Vietnamese rescuers search for victims of a sunken tourist boat whose sail pole still emerged from water on Ha Long Bay in northern Quang Ninh province, Vietnam on Thursday Feb. 17, 2011.   (AP Photo/VNA, Dinh Manh Tu)
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(Newser) – An anchored tourist boat sank early this morning in Vietnam, killing 12 travelers—most asleep—onboard, the LA Times reports. The dead hailed from nine countries, and included two Americans. Another 15 people made it off the boat alive. They report seeing a wooden plank rip away from the vessel around 5am, and a gush of water swiftly pull it under.

“Crew members tried to stop the water from coming in and alerted the tourists who were sleeping, but the water came in and the boat sank quickly,” said one local official. Survivors were rescued by other tour boats in the bay. After a brief spell at the hospital, they have all returned to their hotel rooms. The incident marks the deadliest boat accident ever for Vietnam’s 25-year-old tourism industry.