The death toll from the last week’s accident in which a wooden boat crammed with scores of people capsized in the Malacca Strait off Malaysia has risen to 61, Reuters reports.
The deceased are mostly men, but also include one toddler and several women, according to Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
MMEA dispatched patrol boats from the Klang Maritime District to the scene after local fishermen spotted the capsized boat off Sabak Bernam in the morning hours of Thursday, September 3, and alerted the authorities.
MMEA teams and local fishermen have reportedly managed to rescue 20 people so far. If no more bodies are found today, the rescue teams will be called off, according to the MMEA rescue director Robert Teh Geok Chuan.
The authorities say that the boat had the capacity to carry 70 people, although local fishermen were reported as saying that they estimated up to 100 people to have been onboard the wooden boat.
The boat was reportedly carrying illegal immigrants to Sumatra, Indonesia, ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.
World Maritime News Staff