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Shipwreck in Cambodia (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The list of survivors of a boat that sank off a Cambodian island on Saturday increased to 30 of the 41 passengers from China who described doing what they thought would be a short-term fishing job without food and water on board , their belongings were taken away.

Cambodian authorities said on Friday they were rescuing 21 people a day after a small wooden fishing boat sank off Koh Tang Island near Cambodia’s maritime border. Vietnam.

Cambodian Sihanoukville Province spokesman Kheang Phearom announced on Saturday Facebook Page where nine others were rescued Vietnamese Three bodies have been recovered in Cambodia, and eight people are still missing.

Survivors told Cambodian officials that their journey began in southern China.

Dramatic video footage showed Cambodian crew members on a nearby boat throwing life jackets and lifebuoys at the teetering vessel as it slowly tilted to the right and slid below the surface, causing passengers to splash into the water.

Two Cambodian crew members abandoned the ship when it first ran into trouble and were rescued earlier. Cambodian police called them guides at the time and arrested them.

Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief General Chuon Narin told local media that the passengers departed from China’s Guangdong province on a speedboat on September 11 and were transferred to a fishing boat in international waters on September 17.

Two survivors, a man and a woman, who are being treated at Sihanoukville Provincial Hospital, told reporters on Saturday about some of their ordeal.

Zhu Pingfan, 41, said he had expected to earn 10,000-20,000 yuan ($1,400-2,800) for about 10 days working as a fisherman.

“We got on the boat and all our belongings and electronics were confiscated. I thought it was no big deal, right? So I handed them over,” he said. “Then about three days later. There was no food. On the fourth day, there was nothing to drink. So for about four days, we didn’t eat or drink.”

Huang Qian, 20, told a similar story and recalled how they were transferred to a second boat, each getting only two packs of instant noodles, and that’s it.

The situation became more dire when water entered the engine, rendering the boat unusable. There were no life jackets on board when she had to abandon the boat.

“I was floating on the high seas for about two days,” she said. “We had a cooler and the two of us just sat on the cooler and floated. Then we saw a fishing boat, so we called for help. So they threw a rope at us.”

It is unclear why the passengers were taken to Cambodia, although survivors have provided accounts that they were tricked by human traffickers, who sometimes lure people with fake, high-paying jobs. They then force them to engage in activities such as online scams to defraud people of their money or prostitution and offer them freedom in exchange for large sums of money.