Woman, 2 boys starve to death in speedboat drifting at sea
Published: Sunday November 1, 2009 MYT 7:36:00 PM
Updated: Sunday November 1, 2009 MYT 9:04:53 PM
Eight other passengers rescued
JAKARTA: Three out of the 11 passengers on a small speedboat died as their boated drifted in the Sulawesi Sea for eight days.
The boat had run out of fuel after the skipper failed to find the way to TawiTawi in the Philippines after the compass failed.
The eight others were rescued at about 10am Sunday by fishing vessels and taken to Tolitoli in Central Sulawesi, said Ilham, secretary of Ogotua Mukim, as quoted by Antara news agency.
All the passengers are believed to be Malaysians.
Ilham said skipper Sapil Mahmud, 40, had identified the dead as Rosida, 30s, her two-year-old son Arisman and a 16-month-old boy Jonathan, and said the boat was headed from Lahad Datu in Sabah to TawiTawi when the mishap occurred.
He said the skipper had tried in vain for four hours to establish the direction to TawiTawi after the compass failed and the boat ran out of fuel.
Ilham said the woman and the boys succumbed to starvation and the heat. The boat had run out of food and water.
The bodies have been brought to the Ogotua community health centre in Tolitoli Utara and might be buried late Sunday, he said, adding that the other passengers had also been brought there for treatment.
Ilham said the survivors were Abd Siman Abbani, 34, Hiya Jaini, 40, Naslin, six, Rosima, three, Ronal Karsa, 39, Jonathan's father (unidentified), Ema Karsa (Jonathan's mother) and Jonathan's sister, Jasmin Roy, five.
"They are under treatment and the important thing is to make sure their condition is stable," he said.
Meanwhile, three fishermen from Lingayan, an island off Tolitoli, who had stumbled upon the drifting boat gave their statements to the Tolitoli Utara police station.
Charge d'affaires at the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta, Amran Mohamed Zain, when contacted, said the mission was getting more information and would send assistance if they were confirmed to be Malaysians. - Bernama