40 Indonesians Missing off Malaysia After Boat Sinks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Rescuers were searching for 40 Indonesians including women and children on Saturday after a boat carrying them home sank off Malaysia.
Two ships, four speedboats and two helicopters have been dispatched to scour the sea off southern Johor state to look for the missing, said Amran Daud, an official with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
The boat, thought to be carrying 44 passengers, sank amid high waves Thursday night around 13 nautical miles (24 kilometres) off the coast, he said, adding four were rescued on Friday, AFP reported.
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 boat sank roughly three hours into its journey from Tanjung Sedili on the state's east coast to Indonesia's Batam island with its passengers hoping to return for Eid al-Fitr, the most important Muslim holiday, Amran said.
Another maritime official, Hairi Nizam, added those rescued were found clinging on to plastic drums in the water. None of them were wearing life jackets.
After being sent to hospital for treatment, the four men, aged between 26 and 31, were now in custody while the incident is being investigated, Hairi said.