Express boat stuck after hitting sandbar


  • Nation
  • Monday, 31 May 2004

SIBU: About 90 passengers on a Kapit-bound express boat were stranded for six hours when it hit a sandbar in a rare incident on the Rajang River on Saturday. 

The Husquana Vision came to a halt after it got struck in the sandbar about 15 minutes after leaving the wharf here at 6.30am. 

RARE INCIDENT: The passengers of the Husquana Vision waiting to be rescued by the authorities in Sibu yesterday.

The incident occurred during low tide and thick fog caused poor visibility, said the boat's skipper. 

The majority of the passengers were Dayaks returning to their longhouses in the upper Rejang Basin for the Gawai Dayak celebration. 

Sarawak Rivers Board assistant manager Iskandar Turkee said rescuers were sent to the boat at 10am but nothing could be done due to the shallow water. 

The team helped to bring 13 passengers, mainly the elderly and several crying children and their mothers, to shore. 

Several passengers, furious at not being informed that the boat was stranded, criticised the crew for the poor handling of the situation and for not quickly calling for help from the authorities.  

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