Haunting accounts from survivors of Malaysian boat tragedy
Rescued Chinese tourists still in intensive care with no date to return home
The survivors from a capsized boat in Malaysia are still in an intensive care unit and it is not known when they will come home, officials and Chinese media reported on Tuesday.
The survivors are still haunted by the nightmare of their boat sinking in rough seas off the coast of Borneo on January 28. Three Chinese tourists were killed and 20 others were rescued.
One of the survivors said in a Chinese media interview that her mother drifted away into the ocean after the tour group stripped the woman, who had stopped breathing, of her life vest.
“When my mother started to experience life difficulty at about 7am, I was giving her CPR, hugging her to keep her warm and talking to her to keep her alive,” she said.
But she said members of the group later furtively removed her mother’s life vest after she ceased to breathe.
Fang Lixia, another woman survivor, said she held onto her friend’s corpse for more than 30 hours, according to the See Hua Daily News in Malaysia.
Chen Xin, a official at the Chinese consulate general in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, said there was no timetable for when the survivors could go home because the medical condition of many remained uncertain.
Volunteers at the hospital said many of the victims, who suffered from severe dehydration and sunburn, were still in intensive care, according to a report by web portal iFeng.
The survivors were stuck in the ocean for more than 33 hours beginning at 10am on Saturday before they were rescued. Stories of how they survived the disaster are now circulating in the news.
Shanghai-based online portal Thepaper.cn, reported on Tuesday that the responsible travel agency was losing its business licence.
Malaysian police detained two crew members and the owner of the boat as part of their investigation of the disaster.