Pass woman keeps hope alive after fiancé goes missing in Gulf of Mexico

(L to R) Hung Nguyen sitting next to his fiance Loan Hoang.
(L to R) Hung Nguyen sitting next to his fiance Loan Hoang.
Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Family, faith and a cell phone is about all that keep Hung Nguyen's fiancé going right now. Nguyen went missing Friday, July 5 in the Gulf of Mexico. He is a crew member for the dive vessel Epic Explorer.

His fiancé Loan Hoang clutches her phone, praying it will ring with more encouraging news about the love of her life. The Coast Guard has been looking for Nguyen 60 miles off the shore of Vermilion Bay. They have been searching for a little more than our four days.

"We don't know why he went overboard or became missing. Don't know what the sea state was that day," Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough said.

When Hoang's phone rang Friday the Pass Christian woman learned the shocking news her fiancé disappeared. Hoang has been gathered with Nguyen's family since receiving that chilling phone call. Nguyen's mother is a devout Buddhist and has dedicated much of the past 96 hours to prayer. Hoang says they are trying to keep hope alive.

"They said there's anywhere from 30 to 40 people on the boat. And they looked on the boat from top to bottom and they couldn't locate him on the boat," said Hoang.

Petty Officer Colclough said crews are searching in an area of about 2,500 square miles.

"Hopefully he's asleep somewhere on the boat, and he's going to pop up," Hoang said.

If he does, she wants her glittering engagement ring to become a wedding ring. Yet, because he's still missing, Hoang keeps sobbing, worried this bad dream may destroy the future they planned together.

"You hear about it happening, but you never think it will happen to you," said Hoang.

She described him as a funny, family man with a big heart. They grew up together on the coast. She said Nguyen has always had a love for the water.

"The Coast Guard told us they are still looking for him and they will continue looking for him tomorrow or at least until they see fit," said Hoang.

As for now, she said all there is to do is pray and wait.

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