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The sentimental sea voyage

Update: 24-05-2022 | 15:16:29

On gentle waves and calm sea, the fishing boat KN - 491 kept turning to surf according to the planned route, taking the 7th Task Force to visit the troops and people on the Truong Sa archipelago and the DK1/12 rig (the Tu Chinh).

Wait with eager

The voyage, for me as well as many other delegates, was the first time to Truong Sa and also for the first time on the KN-491 - one of the most modern fishing boats in our nation today. Therefore, in the afternoon when I boarded the ship to go to the islands, I intend to learn about the ship to satisfy my curiosity. Leaving the bed on the 2nd floor area (from the bottom of the ship up) and after taking a tour around the ship with guidance, I went straight to the upper floor to the bridge. It was different from what I thought as the bridge is modernly designed into different areas of operations, information, and machine information tracking. At the ship's control area, I asked Major Nguyen Van Tuyen, Captain of the KN - 491, who has worked with this ship for more than 3 years, how the ship travels at night like this, whether the ship is on the right course. Captain Tuyen smiled and immediately told me that the ship was built according to modern technology with warning sensors and navigation, so all activities of the ship are controlled by pressing buttons and turning knobs. In particular, the ship has an automatic driving mode according to the preset route. As he said, on the control panel of the ship, I looked at it for a while, dazzled by many large and small screens of radar, technical parameters and buttons with red and green lights and control keys to control other equipment on board, lights, and cameras.

The delegation of Binh Duong province are on on the ship KN - 491

Ship KN - 491 belongs to the most modern generation of large-scale multi-purpose patrol boats of Vietnam's fisheries surveillance under class KN-2011 which is an upgraded and improved version from Damen's DN-2000 ship design for the Vietnamese Coast Guard. The ship has a number of differences such as the chimney design, the addition of a helicopter hangar and the characteristic ax bow design, which helps the ship to turn waves better when sailing. Captain Tuyen added that the trips carried the delegates to Truong Sa and the DK1/12 rig, so the Organizing Committee has carefully calculated and selected the most stable time of to avoid bad weather and rough sea. However, nature is so difficult to say for sure, many delegations also encountered a low pressure, storms and rough seas. There were times when the sea voyages were quiet and windy, but when they returned to the sea only a few dozen kilometers from the mainland, they encountered rough seas and big waves that could cause seasickness.

By the stories of the captain, I learned more about many quiet jobs in long-term business trips at sea including the timely support for fishermen who have problems, illness, or ship engine failure. “There were times when we only received information about the coordinates of the fisherman's ship at sea, then all communication and positioning of the fisherman's boat was not working. At such times, the crew went to the correct coordinates where the fishing boat in distress provided, and then by sea faring and following the wind and water flow, they could find the fisherman's ship and towed it to the mainland for repair," said Captain Tuyen.

Out of the bridge, I continued to explore other areas on the ship. On the deck, the sun was shining and the cool sea breeze was blowing, so many delegates chose the best place to take beautiful pictures as a souvenir. “The KN-491 is very modern. Therefore, I had to take advantage of taking photos at different ship positions, bridge, on deck, bow etc. to save and share with friends more information about the control force's potentials our fishermen,” said Mr. Nguyen Van Long, a delegate from the Binh Duong province.

According to the sailing schedule, it takes about 37 hours for the ship to depart from Cam Ranh International Port to the first island, Da Thi Island. During this time, the delegates on the ship were all in the same mood eagerly looking forward to the day they set foot on the island, satisfying their longing longing to visit this home island for a long time.

The silent soldiers

The trip to Truong Sa this time lasted 8 days, so to ensure the health of the delegates, the dining and resting were very well taken care of by the Organizing Committee as the great efforts of the cooks on board. Delegates often called them affectionately as brothers. The story on the deck, the bedroom or the meal, was always given by the delegates to those responsible brothers with admiration. At 3 am, when everyone was still fast asleep, the electricity in the kitchen area was bright. They were busy and always on the move to make the whole kitchen bustling. Sometimes the ship encountered strong waves and swayed and tilted, pots and pans slided to all sides, swinging and falling.

Those cooking brothers on the ship are really the silent soldiers, bringing delicious meals to help the delegates ensure their health during the long journey to Truong Sa. Being passionate for the hard working brothers who have to spend 20 hours a day preparing food and drink for the delegation, in addition to participating in the joint activities, many female delegates always take advantage of the kitchen to help. Ms. Nguyen Thi Thuy Phuong, a staff of Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund together with 8 other members of the delegation, was always on duty to help with the kitchen chores. “They are few to serve a large number of delegations, so they had to work very hard to offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner on time. Therefore, outside of the time of participating in the group's activities, we ask anyone to take advantage of the kitchen to help until the end of the trip", Phuong said.

Rear Admiral Pham Van Quang, Deputy Chairman of the Political Division of the Naval Command, said that ensuring the health of the delegates through daily meals on the ship was assigned to the team by heads of all  brothers on duty on the ship. Therefore, they were selected from the units as being experienced in cooking and of great responsibility and good health to withstand storms. In order to perform their assigned tasks well, before boarding the ship, they must undergo a training course in culinary expertise to ensure adequate nutrition as well as how to ensure that food, vegetables, meat, fish are always fresh while food hygiene and safety is ensured. Only then can we guarantee the mission of bringing delegations to Truong Sa.

Reported by Do Trong – Translated by Vi Bao

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