Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sabah Tourist Boat Sinks, Woman Killed

SANDAKAN: A tourist boat with 11 people heading to Libaran Island in stormy weather, capsized off the east coast of Sabah, leaving a woman dead.

The incident occurred near the Padas rivermouth at 12.15pm yesterday. The local victim in her 40s was identified as Mariahmah Kawari.

Tour guide, Robert Ernest, 26, who was reported missing earlier, was rescued at about 7.15pm.
Nine others, including seven Australians, were also plucked to safety.

The Australians were identified as Rusell Holdsworth, 49, Christina Grant, 58, Suzanne Clifton, Ross Webber, Megan Johns, Kimberley Chinpony and Prudence Vence.

Two others rescued were tour company staff – boatman Emping Chekol, 59, and a man named only as Wahid.

Sandakan acting police chief Supt Mohd Zain Yaacob said the boat had left the Padas River jetty at about 10.45am in bad weather and was hit by high waves near Tanjung Pisau off Pulau Libaran.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat thanked those responsible for rescuing the victims.

In the first week of 2007, a South Korean woman and a Japanese woman drowned at Pulau Sapi off Kota Kinabalu. Also last week seven Japanese and Chinese tourists were injured when a tourist bus crashed in Papar.

Source : STAR NST
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