Ship With Indian Crew Goes Missing, Hijack Alert Sounded

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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.

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“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.

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