‘We pulled them up one by one’: How S’pore-bound vessel’s crew saved 303 Sri Lankans from sinking boat

To keep both vessels close together, Helios Leader’s crew used a mooring line that was wrapped around bollards on board. PHOTO: AFP
Captain Anil Choudhary (second from left) of Japan-flagged vessel Helios Leader with (from left) Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) port master Chong Jia Chyuan, MPA senior marine officer Dilshad Ahmad and MPA watch supervisor Christopher Liew. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
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SINGAPORE - For more than three hours last Monday, Captain Anil Choudhary and his 26-member crew battled roiling waves and strong winds to pluck more than 300 terrified people from a sinking boat off Vietnam’s southern coast to safety.

“The seas were rough, the boat had already taken in some water, and it was rolling and pitching,” Captain Choudhary recounted of the rescue effort to get the passengers onto his ship.

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