May 17, 2015
By Veronica Pedrosa
Passengers aboard crowded ship say traffickers and captain abandoned them without food or water, and left them to die.
A boat filled with around 380 men, women and children from Western Myanmar and Bangladesh was found off the coast of Sathun Province, Thailand, last week. Those on board say the ship’s traffickers and captain escaped, leaving them without food or water.
From a neighbouring vessel, Al Jazeera spoke to some of the Rohingya migrants on board.
Abul Bakaa, one of the passengers, says that people were starving and suffering from diarrhea and were dying because they did not have food to eat or clean water.
“Yesterday one man jumped off the boat and drowned because he went crazy. At least ten people have jumped ship. One died while some of the others made it to nearby fishing boats,” Bakaa shouted from the crowded vessel.
Many aboard said they wanted to go to Malaysia where their family members were.
Another migrant told Al Jazeera she boarded the boat because she had nowhere else to go.
“I don’t have a home or anything left,” she says. “The Rakhine killed my mother and my relatives. The people in the village said they were going to Malaysia, so I made the decision to follow them.”
Al Jazeera’s Veronica Pedrosa reports.