KOTA KINABALU – Twenty-two people, including 12 tourists from China, were rescued early Friday, about 16 hours after their catamaran capsized off Pulau Mantanani.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) found them tied together and floating near Tanjung Dudar and brought them to shore at about 8.30am Friday.
Sabah and Labuan MMEA First Admiral Zubil Mat Som said they were still checking if two others were still missing.
He said those rescued were 12 China tourists – eight women and 14 men – four guides and the others local residents.
The 22 were taken to Kota Belud where medical teams had been waiting to provide them assistance.
â€œThey were tired and looked shaken from their experience,â€ Zubil told the media here on Friday.
The MMEA vessels had rushed to the area after being told of the incident at about 8pm on Thursday.
It is learnt that the catamaran, originally with over 30 people when it left the Mantanani island resort at 3pm on Thursday, sprang a leak an hour into the journey from the island to Kota Belud north of here.
Sixteen tourists were taken back to the resort by other boats before weather conditions worsened, making it difficult for smaller boats to operate in the area.
Pulau Mantanani is about an hourâ€™s boat ride from Kota Belud, which is about 90km from Kota Kinabalu.
The island is a popular snorkelling and swimming spot for tourists. – The Star