TWO Cambodian crew members abandoned a ship carrying 41 Chinese nationals that sank in the Gulf of Thailand, leaving at least one dead and 19 missing, Cambodian authorities said.
A small wooden fishing boat sank Thursday morning near the Cambodian island of Ko Tang, AP reports.
Video footage from the lifeboat shows many on board trying to reach the bow as the stern began to sink into the water.
Rescuers tossed life jackets and lifebuoys and shouted for more help as the dilapidated boat slid below the water’s surface and passengers tumbled out.
At that time, 18 people were rescued, but another 23 are missing.
A provincial official said that three more men were rescued today, and one woman was found dead.
The provincial police chief told local media that the group of passengers left the Chinese port of Guangzhou on September 11 by speedboat and were transferred to a Cambodian fishing vessel in international waters on September 17.
the pod was close to its destination in Cambodia’s Sihanoukville province when its engine stalled and it began to sink.
A police official stressed that another Cambodian boat then arrived and rescued the two Cambodian crew, leaving the Chinese passengers to fend for themselves.
Two Cambodians have been arrested and are being interrogated by the police.
The AP reports that it was not immediately clear why the Chinese were brought to Cambodia, but the deputy chief of Cambodia’s national police, Gen. Chai Sinarit, said last month that authorities had uncovered a number of illegal online schemes to lure workers to the country in recent years.
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