"Most of the rescued victims were aged between 20 and 40."
Kuala Lumpur (ANTARA News) - A boat with 48 Indonesian passengers bound for Batam, Indonesia, has been wrecked in Ramunia Bay, Pengerang, Malaysia, with seven people missing.

"The incident occurred at 5.20am on Monday (January 14), about 300 metres away from the shoreline. As many as 41 people, including two children and four women, were saved by the Malaysian Maritime Guard Agency (APMM), Maritime Police and Kota Tinggi Police," according to media reports here on Tuesday.

The media reported that at least four victims saved themselves by swimming to the coastline, while the others held on to the hull of the boat.

The seven missing passengers include the captain and two crew members of the boat. Rescue teams are still searching for them.

The eight-metre boat got wrecked during an attempt to escape from Malaysian territory into Batam waters through an illegal route.

The chief of APMM in Tanjung Sedili, Commander Mustafa Kamal Abas, said his institution's search and rescue team went to the location after receiving information from Malaysia Emergency Response Services (MERS999), which was contacted by the victims.

"Most of the rescued victims were aged between 20 and 40. There were a couple of 1 to 2 year old children as well," Mustafa noted.

He said preliminary investigation showed that the boat was wrecked after being hit by a strong wave.

Mustafa pointed out that many passengers did not have legal travel documents and the boat was intended only for 20 persons.

"However, we are still investigating the reason why the boat got wrecked. All the victims were taken to the police office in Sungai Rengit for further investigation. We are also still looking for the missing passengers," he added.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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