World

Boat capsizes off JB, 8 dead, 20 missing

At least eight people have died and 20 were missing after a boat capsized just metres from the shores of Pantai Batu Layar in Johor Baru.

A group of 62 Indonesians was said to be attempting to sneak out of the country when the incident occurred.

Johor Immigration Department director Rohaizi Ibrahim said 34 people, including eight women, were saved after the mishap occurred between 8pm and 9pm on Saturday.

The survivors, aged between 25 and 41, were handed over to the department around 7am yesterday for investigations and action, he said.

A search-and-rescue operation is going on to locate those lost at sea.

"Villagers rushed to the rescue of the victims before handing over some of them when the authorities arrived," said Mr Rohaizi said.

Only three of those rescued had passports while the rest did not have any identification documents.

Operation commander Azlan Mohd Sobri of the Fire and Rescue Department said three officers from the Bandar Penawar station were deployed after receiving a distress call at 11.07pm.

He said 29 army personnel, 12 police officers, three hospital employees and officers from the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency were assisting in the operation.

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