HA LONG BAY, Vietnam — Italian traveler Stefano Corda felt an ominous tilt as dinner was served, but his tour boat crew assured him everything was fine. A few hours later, Corda and his friend jumped for their lives into Vietnam's famed Ha Long Bay as water raced inside the wooden vessel, sucking it down and killing 12 people from nine countries.
Vacationers from the US, Britain, Australia, Japan, Russia, France, Sweden and Switzerland died along with their Vietnamese tour guide Thursday in Vietnam's deadliest tour boat accident since the country opened to foreign visitors 25 years ago.
All were sleeping on the overnight ship, which was anchored in about 30 feet (10 meters) of water near a small island.
Nine foreigners and six Vietnamese survived only by flinging themselves overboard and swimming to other tour boats anchored nearby.