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5 Indonesian fishermen rescued after 10 hours adrift in Malacca Strait


Jakarta, IO – Five fishermen from Pangkalan Brandan, Langkat regency, North Sumatra managed to survive after the boat was rammed by container vessel in the Malacca Strait by clinging to drifting wooden planks for more than 10 hours. They have now returned to Indonesia after receiving treatment in Malaysia.

The incident began on May 16 at around 9am local time, when they were out fishing. There was bad weather with thick fog at the time. “Visibility was poor, only about 5 meters so we didn’t know a container vessel was approaching. Plus the ship didn’t seem to be aware because it didn’t blow its horn,” recounted one of the fishermen, per, Thu (30/5).

They were saved by another container ship that was sailing by. Another was rescued by a Langkat fisherman after drifting to a different direction.

“After alerted to the incident, the Indonesian Consulate General in Penang immediately coordinated with the Malaysian Maritime Agency (APMM), the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and the Citizen Protection Directorate of the Foreign Ministry to launch search and rescue operation,” said Wanton Saragih, Indonesian Consul General in Penang.

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After they recovered and were discharged from the hospital in Penang, they were repatriated on May 27 to Pangkalan Brandan via Kualanamu International Airport, Medan.

“When fishing in the open sea, fishermen should be more careful and their boats should be equipped with adequate safety equipment, especially navigation device,” advised Wanton. (bp)


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