Parents devastated as son dies in Vietnam boat sinking

The tourist boat sunk in Halong Bay
Image caption Survivors reported seeing a wooden plank tear away from the boat

The parents of a Scottish tourist who died when a boat sank in Vietnam have said they are "devastated" by the loss of their "adventurous" son.

Stuart McCormick, 30, an engineer from Irvine, North Ayrshire, died in Halong Bay with 10 other holiday-makers and a local guide on Thursday morning.

It is thought he was asleep in his cabin below deck when the wooden vessel began taking on water while anchored.

Bryan and Rae McCormick said he had been having a great time travelling.

Mr McCormick, who also leaves a sister Sarah, 28, worked for Hewlett Packard in Erskine, Renfrewshire, before he was made redundant. He was nine months into a year-long trip around the world.

'Adventurous spirit'

The traveller had spent six months in Australia before heading to Asia.

Bryan McCormick, 54, said: "We are devastated. We had a couple of e-mails from him from Vietnam and he was having a great time and enjoying himself.

"He had an adventurous spirit. He thought nothing of setting out on this year, he was trying to go round the world and went to Denmark, Japan and Australia.

"He always liked trying new things."

His mother Rae, 52, added: "He was loving every minute of this year."

Stuart McCormick is understood to have been asleep in his cabin below deck when the boat, named Bien Mo (Dream Of The Ocean), went down.

The vessel, owned by Truong Hai Co, had been touring the Unesco World Heritage Site in Quang Ninh province.

It was anchored in Halong Bay alongside dozens of other cruise boats and weather conditions were said to be calm at the time of the sinking.

Survivors reported seeing a wooden plank on the ship ripping away at about 0500 GMT, then gushing water inundated the boat and quickly pulled it under, near Titov island.

One of them, Stefano Corda, 35, from Palermo, Sicily, told how in the early hours of the morning they had woken up and that the boat had taken a minute to sink.

He said: "We went to the exit and the boat was almost vertical. I grabbed my friend, we went out, and it was so fast."

All 12 people who died were in cabins on the boat. The other holiday-makers who did not survive were from the US, Australia, Japan, Russia, France, Sweden and Switzerland.

Another nine foreigners and six locals were rescued from the boat.

Vietnam's foreign ministry said the tourists who survived were two Danes, one German, two Italians, one American, one Australian, one French and one Swiss.

Mr McCormick's father said he was concerned about the safety of the boat and would be following up the matter.

Halong Bay, renowned for its hundreds of tiny islands and freshwater swamp forests, is one of Vietnam's most popular tourist destinations.

It is near the Chinese border in the Gulf of Tonkin, about three hours east of the capital, Hanoi.

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