KUALA LUMPUR: The bodies of a young girl and three others were pulled out of the water by rescuers Saturday, as the search for survivors of the tragic boat accident off the coast of Sabak Bernam continues.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Klang chief First Admiral Mohd Aliyas Hamdan said the four additional victims brought the death toll to 28.
First Admiral Mohd Aliyas, who led a 400-man search and rescue operation over a 1,000 sq km area near Bagan Nakhoda Omar here Saturday, said officers in nine boats and two aircraft searched 11 zones in the area, and came across three male bodies at about 2pm.
Searchers then found the body of a girl, believed to be about two-years-old, nearby.
"They were found within a five nautical mile radius of where the boat sank. The bodies were brought back to shore in the afternoon and sent to the Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainon in Ipoh for post-mortem.
Officers faced rough waters and strong winds the whole of Saturday due to rainy weather, he said.
Other agencies involved in the search were the Selangor Fire and Rescue Department, the police, Civil Defence Department and local fishermen.
So far, 20 survivors have been rescued. It is believed that there were 70 people, mostly Indonesians, on the boat made to carry 15.
The boat left early Wednesday from Kuala Sungai Bernam to Tanjung Balai, Indonesia.
It is believed the victims were heading home for the Hari Raya Haji celebrations.
Meanwhile, Bernama reported that search operations for more victims off the Hutan Melintang coast in Perak would be halted and moved to Bagan Nakhoda Omar.
Hilir Perak OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said the search area in Bagan Nakhoda Omar proved to be the most likely spot where victims would be found.
"We will join MMEA in their operations there," he said.