Stranded Rohingya boat migrants drink own urine to survive

Hundreds of migrants from Myanmar stranded on a boat for a week in the Andaman Sea without access to food or water were so desperate they strated drinking their own urine.

The fishing vessel, carrying about 350 Rohingya migrants, has been refused entry to Thailand.

Those on board have said the crew abandoned them and disabled the boat’s engine.

They said 10 people had already died – and their bodies were thrown overboard.

Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have been turning away migrant boats of recent.

Thousands of migrants are still believed to be stuck in boats off the coasts of Thailand and Malaysia.

Most are Rohingyas who cannot go back to Myanmar their native country, where they are not recognised as citizens and are regularly persecuted.

Reporting on the issue, the BBC’s Jonathan Head said: “People are calling out to us begging us for food and water.

“There are a lot of women and children on board. This is a very old-looking fishing boat that’s completely packed with people.

“We can see there are actually people drinking their own urine from bottles. We’ve been throwing them bottles of water – everything we’ve got on board.”

Head said blankets had been tied up to try and provide some shelter from the sun as the average maximum temperature is 34C.

On Wednesday Thai fishing boats found the vessel and it was towed into Malaysian waters.

It was thereafter towed back to Thai waters and is awaiting the arrival of the Thai Navy, according to reports.

The migrants – including 50 women and 84 children – have been at sea for two months, but their situation only became critical after their crew abandoned the boat and left them without a functioning engine.

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