An inflatable liferaft carrying seven tugboat crew – three Indonesians, two Malaysians and two Bangladeshis – has been found drifting in the East Sea by Vietnamese fishermen.
HA NOI –
The crew were off the Malaysian-registered tugboat Wantas VI which, they said, was hijacked by pirates. They were cast adrift around April 17.
The Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre of Region 3 is overseeing their transport to hospital to be treated for severe dehydration and sickness.
"The fishing boat carring the rescued crew is expected to arrive in Tuy Hoa port, Phu Yen province tomorrow at 7am," said a centre representative.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Commander M. Karumanithi, in Sabah State, said the tugboat, towing a barge, had departed from Langkawi, Malaysia on April 12 en route to Tawau, Malaysia.
The last communication they had with the tugboat master was on April 16.
Karumanithi said he thought the tug boat might have been taken by pirates, who had left the barge which then drifted and ran aground on Tubbataha Reef in the Philippines. – VNS