HOF153: TRAN, Dang Viet

In 1979, 22-year-old David Viet Tran left Vietnam in the company of his brother, his brother’s wife, and their infant son, in a boat carrying about 200 passengers. Because their boat was in poor shape, the crew chose a route that kept them close to land as they headed south—a route, however, that also cut through pirate-infested waters. Over the next seven days, the passengers were attacked 11 times. In the last encounter, the pirates gave chase to the refugees’ boat all through the night as it fled toward a set of bright lights, which turned out to be an oil platform. It was thanks to the crew on the oil platform, who allowed the refugees to disembark, that the refugees were spared from another pirate attack.