Stranded at sea: 11 saved after three day ordeal on capsized boat near Sandakan

KOTA KINABALU: Eleven people were stranded for three days at sea, praying for someone to rescue them while sitting on top of their overturned boat in waters off Sandakan.

The six women, two men and three children had got into trouble while on their way to Semporna from Tawau on Wednesday (March 29) when bad weather hit, bringing strong winds and big waves their way.

According to a statement issued by the Sandakan Malaysian Royal Navy dated Friday (March 31), that caused the victims’ boat to overturn, and slowly drift into international waters close to Sibutu, Philippines.

"While adrift, the victims were noticed by the crew of a cargo vessel - Tomini Dynasty - who alerted authorities about this matter," said the statement.

The cargo vessel had first rescued the victims while arrangements were made with the Malaysian Navy to retrieve them.

Security forces rescuing the stranded victimsSecurity forces rescuing the stranded victims

KD Paus, a Navy vessel that was conducting patrol operations not far from the area, was dispatched to meet up with the Tomini Dynasty near Tanjung Labian for the handover of victims.

One of the victims, Siti Naun Osman, 25, informed authorities that they had travelled from Tawau to Semporna late Wednesday before the weather turned bad.

She said their boat overturned when strong waves hit.

However, they managed to scramble onto the overturned boat and sit there until help arrived.

Navy officials heard that the victims huddled together when night arrived due to the cold, and stayed hydrated with the limited amount of food and drinks the victims managed to save during the incident.

The victims were taken to Pulau Tambisan where they were handed over to the Lahad Datu marine police for further action.

All victims were safe and received outpatient treatment after they reached land.

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Sandakan , Capsized Boat , Three Day Ordeal ,


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