Without a visa, a man sets sail just to see his wife

A fishing boat found Mr. Ho Hoang Hung and contacted the navy maritime security unit, which came to rescue him. PHOTO: THIRD NAVAL ZONE COMMAND/FACEBOOK

BANGKOK — A Vietnamese man who tried to row 2,000 kilometers from Thailand to India to see his wife was arrested on Thursday after being rescued off the coast of Thailand, a senior navy official told Agence France -Press (AFP).

Ho Hoang Hung set out from the Thai holiday island of Phuket in an inflatable dinghy, equipped with water and instant noodles but no navigation system, planning to cross the Bay of Bengal around the start of the cyclone season .

A fishing boat on Wednesday found the 37-year-old man near the Similan Islands, about 80km off the Thai mainland, and contacted the Navy’s Maritime Security Unit, which came to rescue him .

Ho told officials he was trying to reach his wife, who works in Mumbai, after spending two years apart due to COVID-related travel restrictions, Command Center Captain Pichet Songtan told AFP. of the Thai Marine Police.

Pichet said the man was found without a map, compass, GPS or spare clothes, and only a limited amount of water.

He had first flown to Bangkok but realized that without a visa he could not travel to India, so took a bus to Phuket, where he acquired the canoe.

After leaving around March 5, Ho was apparently held up by headwinds, making limited progress in the two weeks before his discovery.

Thai officials said Ho would be sent back to Phuket for further questioning.

“We have contacted the Vietnamese Embassy as well as the Indian Embassy but we haven’t heard back yet,” Pichet said.

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