Malaysian cargo ship broke down, not hijacked, says coast guard

A Malaysian cargo ship that went missing and was feared hijacked had actually only experienced engine trouble and has been found with all its crew safe, the coast guard said today.

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The owners of the Malaysian-registered MV Sah Lian had lost contact with the vessel a week before as it travelled along the coast of the Malaysian state of Sarawak on Borneo island, the coast guard has said.

First Admiral Ismaili Bujang Pit, the state’s coast guard chief, had said earlier today the vessel was feared to have fallen prey to the South China Sea’s increasingly active pirates, but later said it was found.

“The ship faced engine trouble and was drifting in the South China Sea,” he told AFP.

“All crew on board the ship are safe and healthy.”

The Malaysian coast guard was towing the vessel to the port of Miri, he added.

Ismaili said according to the shipping company’s manager, the last time MV Sah Lian’s captain Iskandar Haryanto could be contacted was on September 2, while the ship was in the waters of Tanjung Sirik.

Records show that MV Sah Lian departed from Kuching on September 2 and was scheduled to arrive in Limbang on September 5.

Bernama reported Ismaili as saying that the vessel which was operated by a captain and 13 crew members, is worth around RM1.5 million. – AFP, September 10, 2015.

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