Hanoi, Viet Nam - Socialist Republic of
FOR RELEASE WITH BC-VIETNAM-MCCAIN.
FOR RELEASE WITH FEATURE BC-VIETNAM-MCCAIN - Mai Van On, an 83-year-old revolutionary soldier, touches a statue of John McCain on the edge of Truc Bach lake in Hanoi. The statue is not far from where On swam out and saved the U.S. navy pilot's life when he parachuted into the lake after his Skyhawk bomber was shot down during the Vietnam War in 1967. On says McCain, who hopes to be the Republican nominee for this year's U.S. presidential race, would have drowned if he'd reached him 30 seconds later. McCain, who ended up spending more than five years in Hanoi as a prisoner of war, was a key force behind the normalisation of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the United States in 1995. Picture taken January 5, 2000.