Both pilots aboard a Vietnamese Air Force Sukhoi fighter jet that crashed into the sea Tuesday managed to eject safely, but only one has been rescued so far.The Nghe An Province Border Guard told Thanh Nien that Nguyen Huu Cuong was found by fishermen with a life vest and in stable condition at 5 a.m. Wednesday.The fishing boat is on its way back to shore with him.
Cuong told the Ministry of Defense by phone from the boat that he and Colonel Tran Quang Khai managed to jump and parachuted into the sea around four kilometers from each other. He could see Khai’s parachute before they drifted apart, he said.
Pham Van Ty, deputy head of the ministry's rescue department, said Cuong was found 60 nautical miles off the coast of Thanh Hoa Province.A ministry rescue team is still looking for Khai.
Their Russian-made Su-30MK2 went off the radar at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday during a training flight off the north-central coast.Rescuers noticed traces of oil in the area at around 10: 50 a.m.
Vietnam in 2009 signed a $500 million contract to buy eight Sukhoi jets from Russia, and has ordered another 32. The first four were delivered in 2011.