Kuala Lumpur: The authorities have sounded a hijack alert after a Malaysian ship with Indian crew went missing a week ago in the piracy-prone South China Sea, prompting Malaysian maritime authorities to launch a search on Thursday.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said a commercial vessel had reportedly spotted the missing ship about 23 nautical miles west of Miri on Wednesday evening and had notified the owners of the vessel MV Sah Lian.
“The ship was reported to have a damaged gearbox and propeller crankshaft,” MMEA officials said. “This morning the owner informed us and we quickly deployed our vessel,” they said.
The owners of the Malaysian-registered vessel lost contact with it on September 3 while it travelled along the Malaysian state of Sarawak with a crew of 14, including Indians.
In June, a Malaysian tanker was hijacked in the South China Sea. A week after the hijacking, eight suspected Indonesian pirates were arrested on a Vietnamese island after apparently fleeing the tanker in a lifeboat.