KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ A 16-year-old schoolgirl who doesn't know how to swim jumped into a leaking sampan, rowed 200 yards and saved seven schoolchildren after their boat capsized in a lake, police said today.

The boatman, Mohamed Khir Mejah, who helped schoolgirl Wardah Mohamed, later drowned. Also drowned was his 4-year-old nephew.

The eight children were being ferried Wednesday to school across Lake Raban near Lenggong, 180 miles north of here, when the motorboat capsized.

No reasons were given for the capsize, but The Star daily newspaper said it was overloaded.

Wardah, who was at her house on the shore of the lake, heard children screaming.

''I looked at the lake and saw several children holding onto a capsized boat. Without a second thought, I dashed to a neighbor's sampan, which was leaking, and rowed as fast as I could to the scene to rescue the children,'' Wardah told the New Straits Times daily.

''Mohamed helped me take several children into the sampan and I pulled them up before I lost sight of him. Later I rowed the children back,'' she said.

The boatman's four children, ages 5 to 13, were among the seven Wardah saved. He was a security guard who had been home on holiday and had relieved the regular boat operator, who was ill.