Vietnamese Boat Paddle and Bail

Contributed by The BBC Bus

Vietnamese Boat Paddle and Bail

Pamela Whalley - 12/07/2010

This is a story of a paddle and bail from Vietnamese boat people.

My husband was the Supplies Officer to the then Crown Colony of Hong Kong in 1979 and was a volunteer on the illegal immigrants patrol. He was out on patrol in September of that year in the South China seas.

Radar picked up what looked like driftwood. It was in fact two 'san pan' boats with twelve people in them, four of whom were dead already. The rest were starving, terrified, dehydrated and mostly naked.

He pulled out a 12 year old child and he coverd her with a naval issue sweater.

The only implements they had on board were wooden bails and paddles to take them from Vietnam through the shark infested seas. The girl gave him this paddle and bail as a gift for saving her.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline






View more objects from people in Birmingham.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.