Two Chinese crew rescued from inside sand dredger capsized near Malaysia

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There were a total of 18 onboard the ship when the incident happened, including 16 Chinese, one Malaysian and one Indonesia. Three Chinese were rescued previously while one was dead.

A Muar hospital doctor on site told a press conference afterwards that the two victims showed dehydration symptoms, and can only provide limited information for the rescue mission.

MUAR, Malaysia, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Two Chinese crew were rescued from a sand dredger capsized in the waters near Malaysia on Friday, as divers continued their underwater search for the remaining 12.

Sanifah bin Yusof, deputy director of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Southern Region, said the two victims were rescued from the engine room, but no other victims were found there. He added that air is being pumped continuously into the capsized ship and divers are continuing their search.

Divers from Guangdong, China sent by the Chinese Marine Search and Rescue Center, who joined the search and rescue by the Malaysian rescuers, found the two crew members inside the ship, according to the Chinese embassy in Malaysia.

"We continue with the diving because risks for cutting is too high," said Sanifah. Officials said earlier that they consider cutting the ship hull open as an option but risks ranging from ship sinking or engine explosion still exist.

The two were conscious when found and were brought out of the ship before being sent to the hospital to receive treatment.

Malaysia launched search and rescue operations involving multi-agencies including the coast guard, the navy, police after a sand dredging vessel capsized Wednesday in the Malacca Strait off Malaysia's southern Johor state.

Search and rescue operation are still ongoing for those remain missing. 

A Chinese crew member receives medical treatment after he was rescued from a capsized sand dredger in Muar of southern Malaysian state of Johor, March 23, 2018. Two Chinese crew were rescued from a sand dredger capsized in the waters near Malaysia, according to the Chinese embassy in Malaysia on Friday. (Xinhua)