Boat Sinks in Strait of Malacca, Leaves Five Dead, Dozens Missing
A reportedly overloaded boat with Indonesian illegal immigrants on board sank in the busy Strait of Malacca, off the coast of western Malaysia this Wednesday, leaving at least five dead, and more than thirty people still missing, according to the Indian Express.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency promptly dispatched rescue crews which so far have been able to rescue 60 people from the rough sea.
The accident happened not far from the Malaysian shore, sparking hopes that some of the shipwrecked survivors managed to reach the safety of the shore.
The total of 97 passengers is believed to have been aboard the wooden boat, among them a number of children.
The passengers are said to be undocumented migrant workers heading to Banda Aceh, Indonesia, leaving Malaysia ahead of the holly month of Ramadan.
According to an investigations officer with the maritime agency, the ship, which was in a pretty bad shape, had illegally set sail around midnight Tuesday from Kuala Langat district in Selangor and was facing pretty rough weather.
World Maritime News Staff, June 19, 2014