25 on board missing Malaysian boat rescued: Malaysian authorities

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-29 21:57

25 on board missing Malaysian boat rescued: Malaysian authorities

This undated photo shows a port in Kota Kinabalu, in the state of Sabah, Malaysia. [Photo/Xinhua]

Twenty-five people, mostly Chinese tourists have been rescued after their boat sank off Malaysia's Sabah state on North Borneo, officials said Sunday.

Shahidan Kassim, a minister in the Prime Minister's Department, told a press conference that 23 people were rescued by tug boats and fishermen.

The skipper and a crew member were rescued earlier on Sunday.

The boat went missing on Saturday when travelling from Kota Kinabalu, the state capital, to Pulau Mengalum, a popular tourist island, 60 km west to Kota Kinabalu. A total of 31 people were on board, including 28 tourists from China and three crew members.

The Consulate General's Office of China based in Kota Kinabalu said the newly rescued survivors would be brought to the nearby Labuan island for medical check-up.

Shahidan said Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, maritime police as well as Malaysian navy and airforce have joined the search efforts.

Xi demands all-out efforts to rescue Chinese tourists in Malaysia

Chinese President Xi Jinping has demanded all-out search and rescue efforts for the 28 Chinese nationals on a boat that sank off Malaysia's Sabah state on North Borneo on Saturday evening.

According to an official release issued on Sunday, Xi asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia to maintain close contact and cooperation with authorities of Malaysia, and China's transport and tourism authorities to activate emergency measures immediately to assist the rescue.

Premier Li Keqiang also urged the search and rescue efforts to ensure that not a single Chinese national will be left unaccounted for.

Given a surging number of tourists and travellers during the ongoing Spring Festival holiday, security and emergency response measures must be increased and safety awareness must be enhanced among the public, Xi said.

Premier Li pledged measures to guarantee rights and interests of the Chinese citizens and inform their families about the progress in the rescue.

China launches emergency measures over missing tourist boat in Malaysia

The China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) on Sunday activated emergency measures after a boat carrying mainly Chinese tourists was reported to have gone missing in Malaysia.

An emergency team led by a deputy chief of the administration has been set up to deal with the incident, according to a CNTA statement.

The administration is checking the information of the tourists, and the staff in its Singapore office are preparing to search the area where the boat went missing, the statement said.

A boat carrying 31 people, among them more than 20 tourists from China, lost contact with marine authorities after it left a port in Kota Kinabalu (KK) in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah to Pulau Mengalum, a popular tourist island 60 km west of KK, on Saturday, the Consulate General of China in KK said Sunday.

It is not clear yet what caused the disappearance of the boat, but an official from the Chinese consulate said there was unfavorable weather condition Saturday.

Bad weather hampers search effort

Bad weather has hampered search effort for the boat carrying mostly Chinese tourists that went missing off Malaysia's Sabah state, authorities said Sunday.

Senior official of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Rahim Ramli said the rescue personnel faced strong winds and choppy waters, according to the local Star newspaper.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said the boat was carrying 31 people, include 28 tourists from China. It sailed out at 9:00 am local time on Saturday from Sabah's state capital of Kota Kinabalu to Pulau Mengalum, a popular tourist island 60 km to the west.

The Chinese Consulate General's office has confirmed at least some 20 passengers are Chinese citizens.

The MMEA received a call about the boat's disappearance on Saturday night and a search and rescue operation was launched to cover an area of 400 square nautical miles. The operation was jointly conducted by MMEA, the Malaysian Navy and Air Force.



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