Three East European freighters were lying at anchor in Hong Kong harbour on May 19, where they were diverted from their route towards the mined North Vietnamese port of Haiphong.
AERIAL V Hong Kong harbour
Three shops moored in harbour
U.S. carrier "Coral Sea"
CUTAWAY TO Helicopter
Two East German ships loaded with trucks
CU Coral Sea
CUTAWAY TO helicopter
GV Ship at anchor
Initials BB/0100 LD/PN/BB/0225
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Background: Three East European freighters were lying at anchor in Hong Kong harbour on May 19, where they were diverted from their route towards the mined North Vietnamese port of Haiphong. Two of the ships are East German--the 5,242-ton "Heinz Kapelle" and the 6,759-ton "Gera"--which arrived in Hong Kong on May 11 and 13 respectively; the third ship, which arrived on May 12, is the 5,807-ton Bulgarian freighter "Gotzke Deltchev".
All three are anchored near the Untied States aircraft carrier "Coral Sea", until recently part of the massive U.S. flotilla attacking North Vietnam and currently on a rest ad recreation" visit to the British colony.
The three ships in Hong Kong are said to be carrying only general cargo, and not arms or ammunition which would have to be declared to the authorities. Crewmen have refused to speak to reporters, but an officer on the "Gera" is reported a saying: "We will remain the Hong Kong until such time as the American offensive ceases."
Simultaneously, there are unconfirmed reports that another Bulgarian cargo ship, the "Tzanko Tzerkovski", is sailing towards North Vietnam waters with orders to defy the U.S. blockade of the Gulf of Tonkin and head for Haiphong.
SYNOPSIS: Hong Kong Harbour on May 19--and three East European cargo ships lie at anchor after having been diverted from their route towards the mined North Vietnamese port of Haiphong.
The U.S. aircraft carrier "Coral Sea" lying only a few hundred yards away
Two of the ships are the East German freighters "Heinz Kapelle" and "Gera"--laden with general cargo and equipment. No arms or ammunition are reported on board--under Hong Kong law such a cargo would have to be declared. The third ship, is the Bulgarian freighter "Gotzke Deltchev." All three are said to be remaining in the British colony until the U.S. blockade of the Gulf of Tonkin ceases--but unconfirmed reports indicates that another Bulgarian freighter is heading towards North Vietnam, with orders to defy the U.S. blockade and reach Haiphong.
The USS Coral Sea, until recently part of the massive American flotilla attacking North Vietnam, is on a "rest and recuperation" visit to Hong Kong.