Boat carrying 28 Chinese tourists reported missing off Malaysia

by Reuters
Sunday, 29 January 2017 03:10 GMT

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 (Reuters) - A boat carrying 31 people, including 28 Chinese tourists, is missing off the coast of Borneo, Malaysian maritime authorities said on Sunday.

The boat left Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah, at about 9 a.m. (0100 GMT) on Saturday, and was headed towards the popular tourist spot of Mengalum island, Sabah and Labuan Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) deputy director Rahim Ramli said when contacted.

Rahim said the boat was reported missing at about 9.50 p.m. after failing to arrive at the island, and that a search and rescue operation was launched soon after.

Bad weather was hampering the search effort, which covers an area of about 400 nautical square miles, he said.

"We are looking at strong winds and choppy waters, and have requested assistance from the air force to conduct an aerial search," he said.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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