Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tourist Boat Capsizes off Sabah, 7 Missing

SANDAKAN: Search and rescue efforts intensified for seven people including five foreign tourists still reported missing at the Padas river mouth near here after their boat capsized in stormy seas just before noon today.

Sandakan acting OCPD Supt Mohd Zain Yacob told reporters at 2pm that the missing seven comprised five foreign tourists, a local tour guide and the boatman.

He said the two rescued were Australians while Marine police, navy and coastguards combed the river mouth for the other missing people.

Mohd Zain said they were on their way back from Libaran Lodge on Libaran Island about two-hour boat ride from this east coast town.

Although police decline to confirm the nationalities of the missing tourists, it is believed that there were Australian and British nationals on an adventure tour vacation in Sabah.

Initial reports stated that there were among at least 15 people on board when the boat capsized at about 11.30am as it was entering the river mouth from the Sulu Sea after an overnight stay on Libaran island.

The 15 were on board two boats when one of the boats hit a stormy patch of strong waves during heavy rain.

Source : STAR
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