Malaysia rescues 46 Indonesian immigrants on sinking boat

13:33, July 20, 2011      

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Malaysian authorities rescued 46 undocumented Indonesian immigrants when their boat sank in the sea off Malaysia's Southern Johor state as they were trying to sneak back into Indonesia ahead of the Eid holiday.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency officials said they rescued the group on Tuesday after search efforts that lasted 10 hours.

"The weather was not so good and the waters were very choppy," said agency regional commander Zulkifli Abu Bakar.

"The Indonesians were weak and terrified when we finally found them at about 3:50 a.m.," he added.

The group were believed to be heading to Batam, Indonesia for the Eid holiday and the fasting month of Ramadan in August before their boat's engine malfunctioned.

The boat's captain escaped and the immigrants were under police custody.

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