HOF068: Chu Trong Huyen

Chu Trong Huyen attempted 13 times to escape from Vietnam in 1983, at the age of 23. The son of a military commander, one of eight children, Chu managed to evade capture each time a planned escape failed, thanks in part to his quick instinct to peel away from the crowd, but also in part to strangers going out of their way to offer him protection. On the journey to Malaysia in a 13-metre long fishing boat packed with 99 people, Chu helped fend off Thai pirates who tried to attack the boat. Sponsored by the Canadian government in Belleville, Ontario, Chu worked and saved up so he could, in turn, sponsor his two younger siblings and his fiancé with whom he reunited after 10 years of separation.