BANTING, Malaysia – Twenty-seven people were missing Wednesday (June 18th) and nine were confirmed dead after an apparently overloaded boat carrying Indonesian illegal migrants home for Ramadan sank overnight in rough seas off western Malaysia, AFP reported.
Officials said 60 people were either rescued or made it to land themselves after the accident around midnight near Port Klang. Authorities intensified the search with nine ships and a helicopter.
"Rough seas are making our rescue operation difficult. But we will continue the search with rotating teams until the remaining people are found," said Mohamad Hambali Yaakup, head of the Port Klang office of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.
Authorities said rescued passengers told them they were returning home to Indonesia across the Malacca Strait for Ramadan.