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Last Updated: Monday, 3 January, 2005, 20:49 GMT
Tsunami survivor rescued at sea
Tsunami-survivor Melawati
Melawati survived by clinging onto a tree trunk for five days
An Indonesian woman swept out to sea by the tsunami that killed 150,000 people has been rescued by a tuna-fishing vessel after five days adrift.

The Malaysian boat found 23-year-old Melawati clinging to the uprooted trunk of a palm tree in waters off Sumatra.

She was taken to the port of Penang in Malaysia, where doctors are treating her for weakness and cuts to the legs.

Indonesia is one of the worst affected countries by the giant tsunami that wrecked Indian Ocean shores a week ago.

It lost more than 94,000 people, most of them in the province of Aceh on the island of Sumatra, near the epicentre of the undersea earthquake that set off the sea surges.

Goi Kim Par, manager of the port where the tuna ship docked, said Melawati, who is from Aceh, survived by drinking rain water.

He said the ship's crew were sailing 100 nautical miles (200km) from Aceh when they spotted "somebody waving to them" from a floating object.

"They found this lady sitting on the palm tree... [She] was slightly hurt, especially on her legs - bitten by fish, it seems," he said.

It is not yet clear when or how Melawati (who uses only one name) will return to Aceh after she has been treated.


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