: 26 foreign fishermen were rescued by a platform supply ship after drifting in the middle of the South China Sea for nine hours on Thursday.
In the incident, the Thai-registered foreign fishing boat was on its way home loaded with its catch when it sank near Puteri oil rig, about 250 kilometres east of Kota Bharu.
Kemaman Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) enforcement chief, Lieutenant Commander Nang Rong said the foreign fishing boat was believed to have sprang a serious leak and sank.
"We received an emergency call at 2 pm from the control centre on a boat which capsized about two nautical miles from the platform.
"All the fishermen managed to save themselves by holding on to floats and empty drums and a platform supply ship, MV Vanesssa, which was on its way to Puteri platform, saved all victims and brought them to the Kemaman Supply Base (KSB), he told reporters here.
According to him, the fishermen comprising, three Thai crew members, 20 Myanmar nationals and three Vietnamese, were said to be fishing in Malaysia waters over the last few days.
All fishermen involved, aged between 18 and 44 years, would be referred to the Immigration Department for documentation processing and before being sent home, he said.