Passengers, Crew Rescued After Boat Sinks off Sihanouk­ville

Six Vietnamese tourists and two Cambodians were rescued at sea off the coast of Sihanoukville on Monday morning after their motorboat capsized and sank in a squall, officials said.

The boat departed Sihanouk­ville for Koh Rong island at about 7 a.m. and sank at around 9:30 a.m., according to Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief Chuon Narin.

He said the Vietnamese tourists had hired the Cambodian men to ferry them to the popular island despite an advisory from provincial authorities not to operate small boats due to adverse weather conditions.

“The boat sank because the waves have been very big and the wind has been very strong, which a small boat cannot manage,” Major General Narin said.

“The boat left in a private deal after I banned people from driving boats because the weather is not good,” he said. “But now they have all been rescued successfully and are already back on land.”

Phol Phorsda, chief of police in Sihanoukville, said the passengers were spotted and rescued by a passing vessel shortly after their boat was overturned by a strong wave.

“There was a big boat carrying vegetables passing in the area and the people on board saw the speedboat sink,” Mr. Phorsda said. “It then helped save the victims, and they informed the police.

“After they found them, a joint force including soldiers went out to sea to get them, and now they are safe,” he said.

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