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Survivor story a hoax

AUG. 21 — The 34-year-old man, who returned home recently more than two months after his family had held his funeral, says he had been on another long-range fishing boat off southern Vietnam, according to news reports. He said he didn’t contact his family because they don’t have a telephone.

“He said he made up the story because he didn’t want the local authorities to take back the money the government gave his family to support the Chanchu victims,” Nguyen Xuan Thanh, deputy chairman of the local People’s Committee, says in a report.

In his fabrication, the fisherman said he lashed himself to a half-full plastic water canister before his boat sank in the May typhoon, according to reports. He said he was picked up 13 days later by the crew of another fishing boat that had no VHF or satellite phone on board.

When the man returned home he was overwhelmed by his greeting and made up the story. Authorities became suspicious, reports say, when the fisherman was unable to name the boat that rescued him and he kept changing his account of the ordeal.

The fisherman’s family will keep the $2,800 they received from the government, Thanh says in a report. The man was reprimanded for telling the lie.

? Jason Fell