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 Six Missing After Container Ship Rams Tug Boat, Then Vanishes

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BerichtOnderwerp: Six Missing After Container Ship Rams Tug Boat, Then Vanishes   za 1 nov 2014 - 23:38

The Jakarta Globe, Oct 31, 2014

Jakarta. Five Indonesian sailors and a Malaysian crewman remained missing on Friday two days after their tugboat was apparently rammed by an unidentified container ship nine kilometers off the coast of Tanjung Gelang on the country’s east coast, Indonesia’s deputy ambassador to Malaysia said.

Malaysia has launched a search operation for the missing men as well as for both vessels — neither of which has been seen since Wednesday.

“Five Indonesian victims and a Malaysian are still being searched for by the Malaysian joint search and rescue team,” deputy ambassador Hermono told the Jakarta Globe.

Hermono added that Malalsyia’s Maritime Enforcement Agency and its search and rescue agency, known as Bomba, had joined the search.

He said that no trace of either vessel had been found by Friday afternoon and speculated that the container ship suspected of ramming the smaller tugboat may have continued to either Singapore or China.

Nine divers were tasked with searching for the victims — but the specialists could not even find the tugboat. Hermono said that the victims may have been unable to get out of the boat and suggested that the most plausible explanation was that it sank.

The tugboat, owned by a Malaysian company, was hit by the unidentified container vessel 14 kilometers off Tanjung Gelang coast en route to Kuala Pahang from Kuala Terengganu on Wednesday morning.

One Indonesian crew member, Martin Sembiring, survived by jumping off the boat when the two vessels collided. He was rescued by a passing fishing boat after the container ship failed to stop and help crew on the tugboat, he told investigators.

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