Most victims of catamaran tragedy set to return home

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KOTA KINABALU: Most of the Chinese tourists who survived the Jan 28 catamaran tragedy are expected to return to China by tomorrow.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment assistant minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming said most of them had settled outstanding matters and could be back home by Chap Goh Mei.

There were only 13 of them left here as seven returned on Tuesday, he said. He added that one or two could remain here longer to sort issues with their travel agents.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din said police had completed investigations into the tragedy.”

Police had also recorded statements from all 20 Chinese tourists and witnesses involved, he said during a visit to the General Operations Force Sabah Brigade headquarters in Kinarut.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Sabah and Labuan) operations deputy director Captain Rahim Ramli said there was still no sign of five missing people, including four Chinese tourists.

“We are continuing our search and rescue operation involving an area of 1, 475sq nautical miles in waters off Sabah, Miri (Sarawak) and Brunei,” he said.

Those involved in the search in Brunei had found a life jacket in the waters but there’s doubt over whether it came from the ill-fated vessel.

We are waiting for verification on where the jacket is from, Captain Rahim said.

He added that five tourists remained warded at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital while eight had been discharged.

On Jan 28, a catamaran carrying 28 Chinese tourists and three crew members sank while on its way to Pulau Mengalum.

Two crewmembers were rescued near Pulau Tiga, while 23 tourists were found in Semarang waters the following day. Three of them were dead.

The body of a fourth victim – a woman – was found on Saturday, bringing the total number of dead to four.

Source: The Star

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