BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 3 March 2008, 07:37 GMT
S Lanka finds boat migrants dead
People attempting to leave Burma by boat
People regularly attempt to leave Burma by boat
Twenty migrants from Bangladesh and Burma have been found dead from starvation and dehydration on a wooden trawler adrift in the Bay of Bengal.

Sri Lanka's navy, which found them, said 71 survivors were rescued from the crowded boat, which had been drifting for two weeks after its engine broke.

They told the sailors that they were trying to get to Thailand or Malaysia.

Correspondents say that the same ocean journey is regularly attempted by boatloads of illegal migrants.

A navy spokesman said that they had been alerted to the vessel's presence by fishermen, and at first had suspected it might be involved in gun running for the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Map
The spokesman said the trawler set sail from Cox's Bazaar in Bangladesh, on its border with Burma, and was on the way to Malaysia or Thailand when its engines failed.

They said the bodies of the dead passengers have been "thrown overboard".

After sailors handed out food, water and gave medical treatment at sea, the boat was taken under tow to the Sri Lanka Navy base at Trincomalee.



SEE ALSO
Bangladesh fishermen missing in storm
28 Jul 03 |  South Asia
Fears grow for Bangladesh fishermen
27 Jul 03 |  South Asia
Scores missing in Bay of Bengal
14 Nov 02 |  South Asia
Cyclone hits Bay of Bengal
13 Nov 02 |  South Asia
Five Bengali fishermen missing
05 Feb 02 |  South Asia
Sri Lanka navy sinks Tiger boats
16 Aug 99 |  South Asia

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific