Published on : Monday, January 30, 2017
The officials of Malaysia said on Sunday that the Borneo shipwreck has claimed the lives of three Chinese tourists and left nearly six people missing after their boat sank in the rough seas off the coast of Borneo a day earlier.
On Sunday, two crew members apart from twenty Chinese nationals were rescued, according to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency’s director-general, Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar, in an official statement.
An earlier announcement had declared that the rescuers had found 23 Chinese nationals alive.
The boat was a catamaran. It had not been able to arrive at Mengalum Island that is a popular tourist spot, after it had departed from Kota Kinabalu. Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah on Saturday morning.
Its Malaysian skipper was also rescued along with a crew member around 2 p.m. on Sunday, as told to the media authorities.
The boat had sunk after it was damaged in turbulent waters.
The skipper said that the boat was ‘broken’ after it was struck by strong waves. Consequently, it had sunk. All the tourists were tied together. Then, they were carried away by the strong currents, he said.
Ahmad Puri, the skipper said that the authorities have been investigating the sinking of the cataraman.
Shahidan Kassim, the national security minister said that the weather conditions were really bad since there were very high waves.
Shahidan said that the authorities would be deploying search assets that would operate during the night with an aim to detect the people who are still missing. The maritime police, air force and the Malaysian navy have said that they have all been contributing to the search of missing people, and it covered 400 nautical miles.
The officials said that the search has been hampered on account of strong winds and turbulent waters.
Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin told the media that time is important since the weather conditions are really bad.
Xi Jinping, the Chinese President said that the government departments of the country have cooperated with their Malaysian counterparts on rescue efforts. The China National Tourism Administration said that it has initiated emergency response procedures.