Cambodia continues search for missing eight in China boat sinking

Authorities and rescue teams continue to search for the remaining eight missing Chinese nationals of the 41 shipwrecked off the coast of Preah Sihanouk province on Sept 22. - POLICE

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh/Asia News Network): Authorities and rescue teams were continuing to search for the remaining eight missing Chinese nationals of the 41 shipwrecked off the coast of Preah Sihanouk province on September 22. Three bodies have been found.

Thirty-three of the 41 people on board the boat that sank between Poysareung and Koh Tang off the coast of Preah Sihanouk province had been found as of Sept 24, said Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesman Kheang Phearum.

Authorities are filing cases to send to the General Department of Immigration, Phearum told The Post on Sept 27.

“We have not yet found all the people from the boat, and we are continuing to search for them.

"Those we have rescued are, in coordination with the Chinese embassy, being prepared to be sent to Phnom Penh,” Phearum said.

A total of 38 Chinese men and three women were on board the boat involved in sinking incident, with three having been found dead.

Maritime police had rescued 18 men, with fishermen having found three people and the body of one woman, while Preah Sihanouk provincial police in cooperation with Oknha Tea Vichet's GTVC Speedboats had found a further two bodies.

Border guards on Vietnam's Phu Quoc island rescued nine people, the maritime police department said on Sept 24.

According to accounts from those onboard, 41 Chinese nationals left China's Guangzhou port on a speedboat on Sept 11, before changing in international waters to another boat crewed by two Cambodians on Sept 17.

On Sept 22 the boat began sinking, with six people aboard another wooden boat taking the two Cambodian crewmen to safety.

Preah Sihanouk provincial deputy governor Long Dimanche said on September 27 that authorities were continuing to investigate.

“Preliminary information is that they are illegal immigrants, and according to unofficial information, they had been cheated and were likely entering Cambodia to work illegally in Preah Sihanouk. Authorities are continuing to gather evidence,” Dimanche said.

Survivors of the sinking had been taken ashore on Koh Rong island, and would be sent to the General Department of Immigration for further action, he added.

Two injured people had received treatment at Preah Sihanouk Provincial Referral Hospital.

The Preah Sihanouk administration said Provincial Governor Kouch Chamroeun and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian had visited the two people in hospital on Sept 24.

The provincial administration confirmed that they were among the Chinese nationals rescued from the ship that sank between Poysareung and Koh Tang.

Keo Vanthan, deputy director-general of the General Department of Immigration at the Ministry of Interior, said on Sept 27 that survivors of the sinking had yet to be sent to the General Department of Immigration.

He said that when they arrived, the immigration authorities would check to see whether they had passports before they were sent back to their home countries.

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Cambodia , boat , capsize , China


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