Boat capsizes off Malaysia's Sabah, two rescued

KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A boat with 15 people on board is reported to have capsized in the waters off Tawau, Sabah.

The boat, which is believed to have been ferrying Indonesian immigrants, is understood to have capsized off Kg Batu Payung on Tuesday evening (Feb 7).

Two people, a man and a woman, have been rescued and sent to the hospital for treatment.

The two were picked up by a fisherman in the waters of Kg Batu Puyong on Wednesday evening.

According to Tawau police chief Asst Comm Fadil Marsus, the survivors, believed to be a husband and wife, were wearing life jackets and had swum for hours after their boat sunk.

"The two are now in hospital," he said, adding that the woman was semi-conscious.

He said a search and rescue operation had been launched for the other victims.

He said the survivors had told police that they boarded the boat at Tinagat in Tawau at about 6pm on Tuesday and were heading to Sungai Nyamuk in Indonesia when the boat was hit by high waves.

It is feared that 13 people, including the boatman and a baby, might have drowned in the incident.