Starving Refugees Rescued After 2 Months at Sea

Almost 400 people were on overcrowded boat
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2020 4:23 AM CDT
Hundreds of Starving Refugees Saved After 58 Days at Sea
A wooden boat carries suspected Rohingya migrants detained in Malaysian territorial waters off the island of Langkawi, Malaysia earlier this month.   (Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency via AP)

Hundreds of starving Rohingya refugees have been rescued after spending almost two months at sea. The coast guard in Bangladesh says more than 30 people died on the vessel, which may have been turned back from Malaysia due to the coronavirus pandemic, the BBC reports. Authorities say the refugees are originally from Myanmar, but it's not clear whether they set off from there or Bangladesh, where more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims ended up in refugee camps after a bloody crackdown in Myanmar in 2017. "We have rescued at least 382 Rohingya from a big overcrowded fishing trawler and brought them to a beach," coast guard spokesman Lt. Shah Zia Rahman tells AFP. "They were starving,” Rahman says. "They were floating for 58 days." He says the coast guard spent three days searching for the boat after a tip. (More Rohingya stories.)

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