More Viet boat people picked up by US Navy
Manila — A US Navy ship picked up 260 Vietnamese packed aboard a boat in the first refugee rescue the Navy has made since Vietnam's "orderly departure" program went into effect, a spokesman said. The Seventh Fleet guided-missile destroyer Robinson rescued the Vietnamese stranded aboard a 40-foot wooden cargo boat 300 nautical miles south-southwest of Saigon. The boat was sighted earlier by a P-3 Orion long-range patrol plane on a regular refugee location flight. Because the refugees faced a "life-threatening situation due to extreme crowding and lack of an operating engine," the Robinson took them in. The refugees had been at sea for a week before the rescue. Over 5,000 Indochinese boat people have been saved by the Navy since President Carter ordered an active search for refugees in July 1979.