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Tugboat feared hijacked in South China Sea

Tugboat feared hijacked in South China Sea

Malaysia: A Singapore-registered tugboat, Asta, is believed to have been hijacked in the South China Sea at the weekend. The Asta was towing an empty barge off the coast of Tioman Island, Malaysia on February 6 when communications were lost at 0130hrs. The tug bound from Singapore to Cambodia had reportedly veered from its planned course and was headed northeasterly in the South China Sea according to a report from the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre. The shipowner suspected the Asta had been hijacked and reported the incident to the Singapore authorities. There were 12 crew onboard the tug at the time of suspected hijacking. ReCAAP encouraged all ships to be on the lookout for the Asta however there were concerns the vessel had been repainted and renamed. On April 7 last year the tugboat Prospaq 1 disappeared in the same area and remains missing to date. [08/02/10]

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