Tour boat sinks in Vietnam; 12 dead from 9 nations

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 17, 2011 17:17

HA LONG BAY, Vietnam  — An anchored boat packed with sleeping travelers sank early Thursday in Vietnam's scenic Ha Long Bay, killing 12 people from nine countries in the deadliest tour boat accident since the country opened to foreign visitors 25 years ago.

Vacationers from the US, Britain, Australia, Japan, Russia, France, Sweden and Switzerland have been confirmed dead, along with a Vietnamese tour guide, the government said. Another nine foreigners and six locals were rescued by other tour boats in the bay's emerald waters.

Ha Long Bay is one of the country's top tourist attractions, drawing more than 5 million visitors a year to the province where 1,600 stunning jagged rock formations rise out of the bay, forming tiny islands. Many visitors stay overnight on wooden boats equipped with sleeping cabins and eating quarters


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