Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Rohingya refugees who were rescued by Bangladesh’s coast guard sit on the shore in Teknaf, a subdistrict of Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on April 15, 2020.

Abdul Aziz/Reuters

Bangladesh’s coast guard has rescued 396 starving Rohingya refugees who had been drifting at sea for weeks after failing to reach Malaysia, officials said Thursday.

The United Nations’ refugee agency received them from the authorities, it said in a statement.

The refugees, including many women and children, were attempting to land on Bangladesh’s coast in the Teknaf area of Cox’s Bazar late Wednesday night, said Lieutenant-Commander M. Sohel Rana, the local head of the coast guard.

Story continues below advertisement

Officials gave varying accounts of whether those rescued were among the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who were living in refugee camps in Bangladesh after fleeing ethnic and religious violence in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

LCdr. Rana said the refugees started their journey for Malaysia about two months ago and had been drifting at sea for weeks.

“They failed to reach Malaysia and returned,” he said.

Masud Hossain, police superintendent in Cox’s Bazar, said the refugees were lured by traffickers and the owner of the boat was a Myanmar Buddhist. The rescued refugees included 182 women and 64 children, he said.

Others said the refugees were from Bangladesh camps.

An intelligence official who talked to at least 10 refugees at the scene said they came from camps in Cox’s Bazar. He spoke on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The official said the boat had attempted to land in Malaysia at least seven times. He said one refugee told him that several people had died on the journey.

Story continues below advertisement

Local media reported that up to 28 people died, but officials could not confirm it.

The United News of Bangladesh and bdnews24.com said they died of starvation.

The UNHCR could not confirm those reports. Spokeswoman Louise Donovan said in an e-mail that the refugees were being transported to quarantine facilities and would receive medical attention.

“The UNHCR is grateful to the government and local authorities for enabling the safe disembarkation of close to 400 Rohingya refugees from a distress boat near Teknaf overnight, as well as to the local community for their quick action to provide immediate support,” she said.

“We understand these men, women and children were at sea for nearly two months in harrowing conditions and that many of them are extremely malnourished and dehydrated. Our primary concern is for people’s immediate health and first aid needs,” she said.

She said they would enter a 14-day quarantine as a precaution against the coronavirus.

Story continues below advertisement

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies