Thursday, February 22

20 missing after boat sinks off of Chinese sea, at least 1 dead


PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Two Cambodian crew members abandoned their boat with 41 Chinese nationals on board as it sank in the Gulf of Thailand, leaving at least one person dead and more than 20 missing, authorities said Friday.

The small wooden fishing vessel founded near Cambodia’s Koh Tang island on Thursday morning. Video shot from a rescue boat showed many on board crowded at the bow as the stern began to dip under the water.

Rescue workers yelled that more help was on its way and tossed life jackets and life-saving buoys toward the ramshackle boat as it slowly began to list to the right and slip below the surface, sending the passengers spilling into the water.

Eighteen people were rescued at the time but another 23 were reported missing. One of them, a man, was found alive on Friday and a woman was found dead, according to provincial government spokesperson Kheang Phearom.

Photos provided by local police show those rescued standing on a pier on the Cambodian mainland wearing garish holiday clothes, but it was not clear whether they had been provided to them after they were pulled out of the water.

Provincial police chief Gen. Chuon Narin told local media that the group of passengers had set off from the Chinese port of Guangzhou on Sept. 11 on a speedboat and had been transferred to the Cambodian fishing boat in international waters on Sept. 17.


www.usatoday.com

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