KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A minimum of 10 folks have been killed and 29 others lacking after a ship carrying at the least 60 Indonesian migrants sank within the South China Sea earlier than daybreak on Wednesday, Malaysian officers mentioned.
The boat capsized in dangerous climate round 4:30 a.m. off the coast of Tanjung Balau, a seaside city within the southeastern Malaysian state of Johor, a spokesman for the nation’s Maritime Enforcement Company mentioned.
Twenty-one folks have been rescued after the company deployed a helicopter and two boats for a search-and-rescue operation simply earlier than 9 a.m., the spokesman, Nurul Hizam Zakaria, mentioned.
Bernama, Malaysia’s nationwide information company, posted a photo on Twitter that it mentioned confirmed folks on a seaside recovering the capsized boat from the surf.
A spokesman for the Malaysian Military’s Third Infantry Division later mentioned that all the passengers on board have been Indonesian. He mentioned they’d sailed from the Indonesian island of Batam, which borders the Singapore Strait.
Batam is shut sufficient to Singapore and neighboring Malaysia that till the pandemic it had been linked to the city-state by common ferry service.
Boat accidents are frequent within the area, and a few have concerned Rohingya refugees.
Through the years, hundreds of Rohingya folks have tried the perilous crossing by boat to Malaysia from Myanmar, the place they face ethnic persecution, or from Bangladesh, the place they usually stay in poverty. They usually head southeast via the Straits of Malacca to Malaysia’s west coast.
Malaysian officers have typically prevented such refugee boats from docking. Final 12 months, considered one of them was rescued by the Bangladeshi Coast Guard, and officers discovered a whole bunch of malnourished and dehydrated individuals who had been stored within the boat’s maintain by human traffickers.
Hadi Azmi reported from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Mike Ives from Seoul.