KUCHING: A tugboat towing a barge with a 10-member crew has been missing for three weeks in the South China Sea.
The tugboat and barge, laden with cargo and owned by a Sibu-based company, were believed to have disappeared while heading for Thailand from Kota Kinabalu.
According to the owner, who identified himself only as Ting, he lost contact with the crew headed by Yong Ing Hung, 40, from Sibu on Nov 6.
Other crew members were Indonesians.
The 127-tonne tugboat was called Adi Segara 2 and the barge, Adi Segara 250.
Ting said the missing tugboat, barge and cargo, which he did not identify, would cost his company RM4mil.
He has lodged a report with the state Marine Department and police.
The state Marine Search and Rescue Centre here said yesterday that it had not received any information on the missing tugboat and crew members.
We don't know if there is any radio communication facilities on the tugboat, an official said when asked.
Ting feared that the tugboat and barge might have sunk or was hijacked by pirates and the crew held by them.
He said this was the second such incident involving his company in five years.
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