Boat ferrying illegal immigrants capsizes in Johor waters, 21 rescued, 10 drowned and 29 still missing

KOTA TINGGI: The bodies of ten foreigners were found washed up at a beach here while 21 others were rescued after their boat capsized near Tanjung Balau here.

A Johor Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson said the boat, which carried 60 people before it capsized, was spotted at about 20m from shore at around 7.40am on Wednesday (Dec 15).

“The bodies of four women and six men washed up to shore while 19 other men and two women were rescued.The boat’s 29 other victims are still missing. A search and rescue operation is ongoing to find them,” he said.

He added that the Navy assisted in the operation and the initial actions taken were to retrieve the boat to ensure that no victims were still trapped within it.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said the victims were believed to have entered Malaysian waters illegally before the boat capsized due to bad weather.

“After the Fire and Rescue Department alerted us to the incident, MMEA personnel were deployed to the scene to help in the search and rescue effort to find the remaining 29 victims,” he added.