A local captain swam for six hours to Mantabuan Island to seek help because the ship carrying 11 passengers had entered the waters before sinking yesterday.
Lahad Datu District Police Chief Supt Mohd Farhan Lee Abdullah said the wooden boat entered the water before sinking, believed to have hit a floating wooden block in the incident between 4.30pm and 5pm in the waters off Mantabuan Island.
He said in the incident, the 46-year-old skipper and passengers tied empty oil barrels around the ship to prevent it from sinking before the skipper swam to seek help from authorities.
“The Malaysian Armed Forces who were on the island then carried out a rescue operation for all the victims before handing them over to the Marine Police for further action,” he said in a statement here today.
Mohd Farhan said all the victims consisted of nine men, two women and a boy aged between three and 79 years.
He said the captain was detained to assist with the investigation under Article 280 of the Criminal Code, which is carrying out boating activities with gopoh, while four passengers who did not have identity documents were detained for case investigations under Article 6(1)(C) of the 1963 Immigration Act.
“All ship owners are asked to always comply with safety and regulations so that unwanted things do not happen,” he said. – NAMED