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Rohingya: Only 4 meals in 16 days at sea

Source Phuket Gazette:

PHUKET:
The 179 Rohingya taken into custody north of Phuket yesterday
survived on four meals of uncooked rice in their 16 days at sea, one
of the survivors told officials.

Local
fishermen spotted the refugees – fleeing escalating ethnic violence
in their native Rakhine State in Myanmar – off the Phang Nga coast
at about 11am.



About
30 officers from the Kuraburi District Office, Takuapa Border Patrol
Police and Phang Nga Marine Police intercepted the single boat the
refugees were travelling in about three nautical miles north of Koh
Phra Thong (map 
here).



They
departed Rakhine State in Myanmar on January 7. They were at sea for
16 days, hoping to reach Thailand or Malaysia in order to find work,”
Kuraburi District Chief Manit Pianthong said. “They all are
exhausted.”

They
said they had only four meals of uncooked rice and water since they
left the state,” he added.

The
refugees were taken to Kuraburi Community Hall. Nineteen of them were
in need of urgent treatment and were immediately placed on saline
drips by medical staff.

Doctors
and nurses were called in to take care of them – some of the
refugees have fevers and others have open wounds. Doctors have placed
them all on a course of antibiotics,” Chief Manit said.


Officers
have to provide them with food,
drink and other care before handing them over to Phang Nga
Immigration for deportation,” he added.

This
latest arrival of Rohingya refugees in Phang Nga follows a welfare
shelter in Khukkhak (story 
here