Vietnamese fisherman sent home


The last of the Vietnamese fishermen jailed for illegally fishing for beche-de-mer in Milne Bay earlier this year was repatriated home this week.
Captain Dinh Van Tam was among over 130 Vietnamese fishermen who were detained in Giligili prison in Alotau and Bomana in Port Moresby.
According to a media statement, he suffered from deep depression, became very weak and was put on oxygen at the Alotau General Hospital.
Catholic nun, Sr Theresa Vu Phuong Thuy Trinh, who had been helping the Vietnamese fishermen, said she thought the Vietnamese captain would die.
With the help of a doctor, Trinh was able to convince those in charge of prisons and immigration to allow Tam to return home to Vietnam.
While in the hospital, Tam was given a prisoner companion to take care of his needs.
According to the statement, after negotiations with immigration officials in Port Moresby and much prayer, Trinh was finally able to get Tam to leave for Vietnam.
Due to bad weather in Alotau, Tam was not able to fly to Port Moresby until July 19.
While in Port Moresby, he was cared for and given accommodation by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
On July 29, Tam was finally able to fly to Vietnam and to be reunited with his family who had been anxiously waiting for him.
Bishop of Diocese of Alotau – Sideia Rolando Santos, said the story of the 130 fishermen had been a difficult one, but they were grateful to be back in their homeland.
“Trinh, had once again modeled for us the strength and the love we should have for those who are weak and helpless,” Santos said.
“By the grace of God, the mission of repatriating the last of the Vietnamese fishermen has been completed.”

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