20 passengers travelling on an inter-island vessel in Fiji yesterday were forced to jump ship in open seas when their vessel began taking in water.
The Fiji Sun reports that the Te Mauri was near Kadavu about 50 nautical miles south of Suva when its engine died and it began taking in water.
Another vessel, the Sinuwasa, which was nearby responded to calls for help relayed to police by mobile phone and rescued the 20 passengers who included an eight-month old infant.
The crew of the Sinuwasa hen bailed the water out of the stricken Te Mauri and towed it to Kadavu.
Police say the Te Mauri would have sunk had the rescue vessel arrived only a little later.
Marine authorities will investigate the mishap.