Thursday, April 10, 2014

Vietnam: British Tourist, 63, Falls from Boat, Drowns While Visiting Ha Long Bay

According to, British tourist Wright David Denning, 63, died on April 3 after accidentally falling into the sea as his boat was touring world-famous Ha Long Bay.

Mr. Denning's tour was organized by Hanoi-based Viettour Travel Company. Ten other foreign tourists and a local tour guide were on the boat at the time of the accident when Denning fell from the boat and drowned near Titop Island.

Authorities reported the Briton's death to the British Embassy in Ho Chi Minh City after family members contacted the embassy about the accident. 

COMMENT: Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a popular destination in northern Vietnam. Authorities in late March 2014 said 3.2 million people visited Ha Long Bay in the first quarter of this year. 

The limestone in the Bay has underwent 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. The evolution of the karst in this Bay has taken 20 million years to reach its current condition.

Hạ Long Bay is home to fourteen endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species.

Historical research surveys have shown the presence of prehistorical human beings in this area tens of thousands years ago. 

The successive ancient cultures are the Soi Nhụ culture around 18,000–7000 BC, the Cái Bèo culture 7000–5000 BC and the Hạ Long culture 5,000–3,500 years ago. 

Interestingly, a number of fatal accidents involving foreign tourists have occurred.  In late 2011, twelve passengers, including eleven foreigners, died when their boat sunk also near Titop Island.

Nearly a year later, five Taiwanese sailors died when their vessel sank after colliding with another boat just 100 meters offshore.

It is a fact that the Vietnamese government, like so many others in this region, have not excelled when it comes to maritime safety and security.

All visitors should be extremely cautious in selecting all modes of transportation.