India’s coast guard rescued 81 Rohingya refugees from a boat adrift in the Andaman Sea, India’s external affairs ministry said on Thursday.
“The engine of the boat failed on February 15 and since then it has been drifting,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in a press briefing.
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“Due to the severe conditions, we understand that eight occupants have died and one of the occupants had been missing since February 15.”
The United Nations on Wednesday raised an alarm of the Rohingya refugees stranded in a boat in the Andaman Sea without food or water.
The boat’s engine broke down after four days at sea and the refugees on board had run out of food and water with several people gone ill and facing extreme dehydration at the time they were rescued, the spokesperson added.
Two coast guard ships were sent to rescue the migrants, 23 of whom were children.
“When we learnt of the boat in distress, we immediately dispatched two coast guard ships to provide food, water and medical assistance to the occupants. Seven of them were administered IV fluids,” Srivastava said.
About 90 Rohingya refugees started their journey nearly two weeks ago and the UN and rights groups had said that these migrants are suffering from acute dehydration and were ill.
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