A Vietnamese man who attempted to row 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) from Thailand to India to see his wife has been arrested after being rescued off the coast of Thailand.
Ho Hoang Hung set out from the holiday island of Phuket in an inflatable dinghy, equipped with water and instant noodles but no navigation system, planning to cross the Bay of Bengal shortly before the start of the season cyclones.
A fishing boat on Wednesday found the 37-year-old man near the Similan Islands, about 80 kilometers from the Thai mainland, and contacted the navy’s maritime security unit, which rescued him.
Ho told officials he was trying to reach his wife, who works in Mumbai, after spending two years apart due to Covid travel restrictions, said Capt. Pichet Songtan of the Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Center.
Pichet said the man was found without a map, compass, GPS or spare clothes and only a limited amount of water.
Ho had first flown to Bangkok but found that without a visa he could not travel to India, so he took a bus to Phuket, where he acquired the dinghy.
After setting off around March 5, it was apparently held up by headwinds, making limited progress in the two weeks before its discovery.
Thai officials said Ho would be sent back to Phuket for further questioning.
“We have contacted the Vietnamese Embassy as well as the Indian Embassy but we haven’t heard back yet,” Pichet said.