Lost phone prevented tourist catching doomed Malaysian boat

Updated 2017-02-03 15:51:16 chinadaily.com.cn

A native of Chengdu, Sichuan province, has a lost phone to thank for not being on a boat that sank in rough seas off Malaysia last week, leaving three dead.

The man, surnamed Li, and his parents had been booked onto the catamaran by his wife. They arrived in Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah state, on January 27.

However, Li lost his phone during the journey, so could not confirm his reservation for the following day's boat ride to Manukan Island with the local travel agency.

By the time he was able to do so, having bought a new phone, it was already 10pm and the boat he was initially booked onto was full. Instead, the agency said he and his parents could take a second boat that departed half an hour later.

On Jan 28, the boat Li's wife had booked tickets for sank. A total of 20 Chinese tourists survived hours in the water before they were rescued, but three died and six are still missing.

"I feel like I dodged a bullet, I was so close to being on that boat," Li told Chengdu Economic Daily, after he had returned to China on Feb 1.

He said he did not know about the sinking until his wife sent him a message on Jan 29. Apparently, his name was still on the passenger manifest for the boat.

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