A South Vietnamese flotilla has sailed up the Mekong River to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia to secure a beach hold and evacuate South Vietnamese refugees.
M-4 shots Refugees on shore preparing to board ship
MS Loading up ship
MS Throwing lines from ship
MS Refugees & belongings boarding ship
M-2 shots Refugees on shore
M-4 shots Ship barking with refugees
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Background: A South Vietnamese flotilla has sailed up the Mekong River to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia to secure a beach hold and evacuate South Vietnamese refugees.
Although South Vietnam and the new regime in Cambodia are allies, the Cambodians have turned on the Vietnamese living in their country and their physical safety demands flight. Many have been massacred.
The South Vietnamese loaded their first evacuation boat, which arrived with a flotilla of patrol craft, until there was no room anywhere. The evacuees were packed on deck and below from gunwale to gunwale in one of the most extraordinary rescue operations of recent times. The Vietnamese left everything behind but what they could carry.
There were plenty of South Vietnamese escort vessels to provide protection. Many Vietnamese watched from shore. In all, it is estimated that 300,000 Vietnamese want to leave that would mean many such flotillas for many months to come.