Death toll in Malaysia boat accidents rises

2014-06-22 13:05
Malaysian search and rescue personnel look at the map before heading out on a search mission on the outskirts of Banting. (Manan Vatstayana, AFP)

Malaysian search and rescue personnel look at the map before heading out on a search mission on the outskirts of Banting. (Manan Vatstayana, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysian maritime authorities on Sunday recovered the body of an Indonesian woman, raising the confirmed death toll from two boat accidents to 16 with dozens of others still missing.

Two boats taking illegal immigrants back to neighbouring Indonesia's Sumatra island for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan capsized early on Wednesday off Malaysia's west coast in two separate incidents.

Sixteen people are confirmed dead, while 83 others have been rescued so far and 25 remain missing, said Mohamad Hambali Yaakup, an official with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

"The body we found today is a woman," he told AFP. "We will keep on doing our search and rescue operation."

Both boats were overloaded - with one transporting 97 people, more than three times its capacity - and sank in rough seas near Port Klang, the country's main port.

Police on Friday detained two Indonesian men believed to be the shipping agent and coordinator of the boat that carried 97 people.

They are being investigated under the anti-trafficking and smuggling of migrants act.

Around two million illegal migrants, mostly from Indonesia and other poorer regional countries, are estimated to be working in Malaysia - taking up low-paying jobs on plantations, construction sites, factories and other places.

Boat accidents are frequent as they embark on rickety, overloaded vessels under cover of night to avoid border patrols.

Large numbers of Indonesians return home annually for Ramadan and next month's Eid al-Fitr, Islam's biggest festival. Both Malaysia and Indonesia are Muslim-majority.
Read more on:    malaysia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.