Rohingya boat sinks off Myanmar’s Rakhine state, dozens missing

RFA Burmese
Rohingya boat sinks off Myanmar’s Rakhine state, dozens missing This boat sank and later resurfaced in the Bay of Bengal, near Sittwe city, Rakhine state, Myanmar, Aug. 8, 2023.
Citizen journalist

A boat carrying Rohingya apparently heading for Malaysia, sank in the Bay of Bengal near Myanmar’s Rakhine state capital city Sittwe, a village administrator told Radio Free Asia (RFA) on Tuesday, adding all but 10 of 55 people on board were missing. 

Eight men were found alive along with the bodies of two women on a beach near the city’s Basara village on Monday night, hours after the boat went down, said village administrator Soe Myint. He told RFA, a news service affiliated with BenarNews, that authorities were searching for the missing people.

“The boat sank after taking on water due to heavy rains and high waves in the sea,” he said.

“The boat reappeared yesterday. Two dead bodies were found and eight people were recovered [alive]. … Now we are looking for the bodies on the beach.”

He said 10 women and 35 men were unaccounted for, adding that eight people survived by holding onto plastic containers when the boat sank.

Residents said the survivors are being cared for in Basara village.

The junta-run Rakhine Daily News reported on Monday that the Rohingya had left Rathedaung township heading to Malaysia by boat.

More than 740,000 Rohingya have fled from Rakhine state to refugee camps in and around Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, following a military crackdown in August 2017. Of the more than 600,000 who remained in Rakhine, about 125,000 are living in displaced persons camps in the state.

Many Rohingya living in Rakhine state leave by boat across the Bay of Bengal to Malaysia because of economic hardships and discrimination.


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