Four more Chinese boat people were found today wandering on an isolated island off Canada's Pacific coast, a day after being forced to swim ashore in frigid water from the ship on which they had been smuggled, officials said.
The four men, according to a local news account, had been told by the smugglers that there was a highway on the nearly unpopulated island that they could walk to. They were part of a group of about 130 Chinese, including young children, who were smuggled across the Pacific in a fishing vessel believed to be from South Korea and dropped off Wednesday at the southern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands.
Most members of the group were rescued Wednesday. They were transported today to the Victoria area, near Vancouver, and are being processed as possible refugees.
The boat on which they arrived was seized Wednesday after it dumped its human cargo. Accounts of their landing described people swimming and wading through rough seas to a steep rocky shore, where they perched until rescuers arrived.
It was the second time in less than an month that a boatload of people from China had been dropped on the British Columbia coast.