KOTA KINABALU – China’s Consul-General in Sabah Chen Peijie has expressed satisfaction with the operation to search and rescue the people missing following the capsize of a boat carrying Chinese tourists off Sabah on Saturday.
Five tourists and a crew went missing when a catamaran carrying 28 Chinese tourists and three crew capsized at about 10am on Saturday after being hit by strong winds and huge waves an hour after leaving the Tanjung Aru jetty here for Pulau Mengalum, a tourist attraction about 56km northwest of Kota Kinabalu.
Twenty tourists and two crew have been rescued while three tourists were found dead following the mishap.
Chen said Chinese President Xi Jinping had expressed concern over the missing tourists and that he wanted her to cooperate with the Sabah and Malaysian governments in the search and rescue effort.
She spoke to reporters when approached at the Marine Police base here early Monday morning.
Chen said she was informed by the Malaysian authorities that more assets would be deployed in the search and the area of operation would be extended.
She also said that the families of the survivors would be informed once the necessary processes had been completed.
She said she was ready to facilitate and give assistance to the families of the victims if they wanted to come to Sabah.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency has identified the 22 survivors and two of the three dead.
In a statement issued here Monday, MMEA said 20 of the survivors were Chinese tourists and the other two were the crew of the boat that capsized while heading to Pulau Mengalum with 28 tourists and three crew on board.
MMEA named the tourists who survived the mishap as Yan Yan Xin (male, 50 years old), Fan Li Xia (male, 40), Yan Si Yi (female, 17), Shen Hao Tian (male, 17), Yang Yao Ru (female, 24), Wang Xian Zhang (female, 48), Cao Dong Tue (female, age not given), Wei Yin (male, age not given), Lu Guo Hang (gender and age not given) and Li Feng (female, 39).
Chen Xin Jian (female, 23), Her Hai Min (male, 22), He Zi Hao (female, 20), Guo Shun Ke (male, 48), Tan Ting (female, 31), Zeng Cui Can (male, 55), Liu Jin Can (male, 31), Liu Juan (female, 32), Liu Fei Tong (male, 32) and Chen Xi (femaile, 11).
The two crew who survived are from Sabah, and have been identified as Sharizal Salian, 25, the skipper, and Aman Abdul, a 38-year-old Filipino who holds an IMM13 immigration travel document.
The MMEA identified two of the three dead tourists as a 46-year-old woman He Run Yuan and a man, Zhang Xioa Kun, whose age was not given.
The survivors among the tourists were brought in a fishing vessel to the Kota Kinabalu Marine Police jetty here at 1.45am Monday.
The two crew, who were rescued by a tourist boat skipper and a companion who joined the search and rescue (SAR) mission, arrived in Kota Kinabalu Sunday afternoon. They have since been detained by police.
The survivors were brought to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here this morning. The situation was calm, with the presence of several police personnel.
However, a small group of people, believed to be family members of some of the survivors, appeared to be irritated by the press photographers and gestured angrily for them to leave the hospital area.