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Eight rescued as boat sinks off Sihanoukville

Police, navy and civilian vessels sped to the rescue of eight people stranded 18 kilometres off the coast of Sihanoukville yesterday morning after the speedboat in which they were travelling to Koh Rong was sunk by rough seas.

“We safely rescued eight people, including two Cambodian crew and six Vietnamese passengers,” Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief Choun Narin said, adding that his officers were aided in the rescue by the navy and “other big boats”.

Narin said he had cautioned Preah Sihanouk mariners not to venture out to sea yesterday, but his warnings went unheeded.

An employee at TBC Speedboat, who asked not to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the press, yesterday confirmed the boat belonged to his company and that “all six passengers are safe and have been staying in our office”.

But they denied any warnings had been issued by police regarding sea conditions.

“The police did not inform or ban us from taking to sea.”

The Preah Sihanouk coastline is no stranger to sunken ships. In April 2011, five Khmer crew and 87 drunken foreigners were rescued by Sihanoukville fishermen after reportedly dancing their party boat into a watery grave.

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