More than 100 Indonesians who had been on their way home after illegally staying in Malaysia were rescued by Singapore’s Police Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday after their boat ran out of fuel.
Early that morning, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore received a report that the troubled boat with more than 100 passengers on board had been seen in the waters near the outlying Singaporean island of Pedra Branca, The Straits Times reported. Two navy patrol vessels and three PCG vessels were deployed to rescue people.
The passengers included four children and 22 women, two of them pregnant. They were believed to be illegal migrants who had been working in Malaysia and were reportedly on their way back to Indonesia.
During the rescue, four passengers jumped into the sea and tried to swim away. However, they were taken back to the boat by a Singapore Navy crew.
At 9am, all of the passengers were transferred to an Indonesian Marine Police vessel and taken to the Indonesian island of Batam.
They had reportedly paid smugglers 1,500 ringgit (US$385) each to cross borders illegally. However, according to one of the rescued, their boat ran out of fuel several hours after departure.