Tragedy at sea: Child and infant among those rescued from Koh Rong boat fire

2021-08-05 14:52:43

Khmer Times/July 22, 2021 


A boat transporting vegetables caught fire near Koh Rong Island yesterday around 10.20am causing one death and six injuries. A child and an infant were among the injured who were rescued.

Fortunately, ten survivors were rescued by the provincial authorities who were called by fishmen near incident when it happened.

Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief Major General Chuon Narin said that at around 10:20 am, he was informed that a 13-metre boat was on fire between the community port of Doeum Thkov village, Koh Rong commune, Koh Rong city and Port 52, Muoy commune, Sihanoukville.

Maj Gen Narin identified the fatality as 50-year-old Heng Sras.

Among the 10 survivors, six were injured, including one child and one infant.

The injured were all taken to Sihanoukville for medical treatment, he said.

According to the boat driver, there were 11 passengers in the boat which departed from the Doeum Thkov community port on Koh Rong, travelling to Port 52 in Sihanoukville.

Without warning, a pipe connected to the boat engine broke causing gasoline to leak and is the suspected cause of the boat catching fire.

The owner of the boat was identified as Rath Oudom, 26-years-old, living in Koh Rong Sanloem commune. The boat was unable to be saved and sank in the seas after the survivors were rescued.

In a video of the rescue effort on YouTube, survivors can be seen bobbing amongst the waves clinging to floating objects as young men in life jackets jump in the water to help them aboard the rescue boat.

A small infant can be seen clutched in the arms of a young man as he holds onto a scrap of board together with another adult survivor.

They had drifted quite a distance away from the boat which can be seen engulfed in a plume of black smoke in the background.

A similar accident happened in April causing severe injuries to four Cambodian navy officials off Preah Sihanouk’s coast.

The six officials were on a patrol in the area around Koh Sompoch Island, about 2 miles from Prek Chak beach of Prey Nop district when their coast guard vessel suddenly exploded.

The injured officials were rescued by fishermen.