According to the local commander of Bangladesh Border Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Ariful Islam, on Sunday, the vessel capsized close to Shah Porir Dwip, at the mouth of the Naf River, a maritime-boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar.
According to another border guard official, 12 bodies had so far been recovered following an all-night rescue operations. "They include 10 children, an elderly woman and a man," he added.
The recent sinking is only the latest of a series of sea tragedies involving Rohingya refugees. On September 28, a boat carrying about 80 refugees sank, leaving 28 dead and a large number missing.
Earlier in September, 46 bodies were recovered after another ship went down in waters between Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF) has voiced it worries over the catastrophic humanitarian situation of Rohingya Muslims, who are trying to escape the government crackdown in Myanmar.
UNICEF noted that some 150 thousand women and children are in dire need of humanitarian support.
Aid agencies also say they need more than $500 million to address the needs of the Rohingyas living in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar refugee camps.
Myanmar’s army renewed its bloody crackdown on the ethnic minority population in August, with numerous documented incidents of massacre and rape of Muslim men and women.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has also announced a level-3 emergency to deal with the situation, while calling for more funds and support from the international community.
On Saturday, a top UN official said that building a mega refugee camp for Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh would run the risk of health and security woes.
Authorities in Myanmar, led by de facto leader Aug San Suu Kyi, have been tightly controlling access to Rakhine since August, when purported attacks by Rohingya fighters prompted a brutal military response that has forced over 515,000 Rohingya to flee for Bangladesh.
The crackdown, backed by radical Buddhist monks, has left scores of Rohingya villages torched and completely destroyed.
Myanmar’s government denies full citizenship to Rohingya Muslims, branding them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Witnesses and rights groups have reported systematic attacks, including rape, murder and arson, at the hands of the army and Buddhist mobs against the Rohingya.