- The identities of several victims of the boat which sank off the coast of Sabak Barnam have been confirmed
The identities of several victims of the boat which sank off the coast of Sabak Barnam on Thursday have been confirmed after family members helped to identify their remains.
Hilir Perak district police chief ACP Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said six of the 24 victims, four females and two males, who perished had been identified.
He said the body of one man was identified at Teluk Intan Hospital through identification documents found on him, while the other five were identified by family members at Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun Forensics Unit in Ipoh.
He said police were awaiting the other victims’ next of kin to come forward and identify the remains with help from the Indonesian embassy.
“Preliminary findings show that most of the victims came from Aceh, Indonesia, and there were those who had valid travel documents but used illegal means to return home as they had overstayed their permitted period in the country.
“Statements taken from the surviving victims revealed that the number of passengers on the boat was roughly between 70 and 80,” he said.
Mohd Shuhaily said the 40-foot long boat was only capable of carrying up to 10 to 15 people at a time.
He added that search and rescue (SAR) operations had been extended to 25 nautical miles from the scene following the discovery of the bodies around the area two days after SAR operations began.
In the incident that took place on Thursday, a “pom-pom” boat with 70 individuals, believed to be illegal immigrants, sank off the coast of Sabak Bernam, nine nautical miles southwest of Tanjung Sauh.
The boat, which was thought to be overloaded, was en route to Tanjung Balai in Sumatera, Indonesia from Kuala Bernam in Sabak Bernam.
As of yesterday, 20 victims were rescued while 24 others were found dead.
SAR operations are currently underway with cooperation from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Fire and Rescue Department, Royal Malaysian Navy and Royal Malaysian Police.