25 passengers rescued after tourist boat capsizes in Malaysia

The captain and a crew member managed to swim to safety

25 passengers rescued after tourist boat capsizes in Malaysia

Image: Google Maps

Updated at 15:30

25 missing passengers from a tourist boat which sank off Malaysia have been rescued.

A minister says the Chinese travellers were found alive near the eastern coast.

Earlier it was reported there were 31 people on board - including 28 passengers.

Chinese state media says the boat lost contact after leaving Kota Kinabalu on Saturday morning.

Maritime authorities have said that at least 28 of those on board are Chinese tourists. 

The catamaran boat left Kota Kinabalu on Saturday at 09:00 local time (01:00 GMT) and was heading towards Pulau Mengalum, a popular tourist island 60km (37 miles) west of the city.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) received a distress call on the disappearance of the boat late last night.

Minister for Sabah state, Masidi Manun said "I, like all the relatives of those on board, am hoping for progress in the search and rescue operation."

Lieutenant Awil Kamsari also said "The search area covers 400 nautical square miles and involves waters between Kota Kinabalu and Pulau Mengalum," before adding that "The Royal Malaysian Air Force will be notified to carry out aerial surveillance."