Seven more bodies have been recovered following Monday’s collision between a Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) vessel and a boat carrying illegal immigrants off Tanjung Piai, bringing the number of casualties to eleven, according to Malaysian The Star.
An official involved in the search and rescue operation said that 61 people have been rescued so far.
The seven bodies recovered on Thursday were that of four men and three women.
According to a Malaysian maritime official, the vessel collided with a patrol boat which was about to arrest illegal workers.
“We are working with the police, marine officials and public defense department to find the rest,” a spokesman for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said.
The vessel is believed to had been heading back from Malaysia toward Indonesia with illegal Indonesian workers ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid.
The vessel’s sinking is yet another accident in an array of similar ones that were recorded over the recent period involving immigrant traffic in unseaworthy vessels, usually overcrowded with people.
World Maritime News Staff, July 17th, 2014, Image: MMEA