Scores missing as boat sinks off Malaysia

Rescuers searching for missing Indonesians after a vessel carrying them home to celebrate end of Ramadan capsizes.

    After being sent to hospital for treatment, the rescued Indonesians are in custody [EPA]
    After being sent to hospital for treatment, the rescued Indonesians are in custody [EPA]

    Malaysian authorities are searching for at least 32 Indonesian workers whose boat sank amid high waves while bringing them home for the end of the Muslim fasting month.

    The coast guard, police and fishermen rescued eight survivors since the boat capsized in rough waves off Malaysia's southern Johor state around midnight on Friday, a Johor district police official told Reuters news agency.

    It is thought the Indonesians chose to travel on the boat because they were working illegally in Malaysia and wished to bypass border controls on their trip home.

    The suspected undocumented workers were on an hours-long journey to Indonesia's Batam island before celebrations next week marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

    "The condition of the boat was believed to be questionable," Amran Daud, an official with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency told AFP news agency on Saturday.

    Another maritime official, Hairi Nizam, said those rescued were found clinging on to plastic drums in the water.

    None of them were wearing life jackets.

    Many Indonesians working illegally in Malaysia travel on boats believed to be old and unsafe to return to their hometowns. Staying in Malaysia illegally is punishable by jail and caning for men.

    It was the second recent maritime accident involving Indonesians in Johor state's waters.

    At least one woman drowned and seven people went missing after their wooden boat overturned on July 18.

    Twenty-seven people were rescued.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Canada: Attack on girl wearing hijab 'did not happen'

    Canada: Attack on girl wearing hijab 'did not happen'

    Toronto police announce hate crime investigation concluded after evidence shows cutting of girl's hijab didn't occur.

    New Boko Haram video purports to show Chibok girls

    Boko Haram video purports to show seized Chibok girls

    Girl appearing in footage says the abductees are safe, live g in comfort and do not want to be rescued.