Search on for seven crew from Malaysian tug

April 11, 2009
Vietnam’s search and rescue authorities on Friday dispatched an airplane and rescue ships to look for seven crew members missing from a Malaysian tugboat that caught fire off Vietnam’s southern Wednesday.

Astaka was towing a sand barge from Can Tho to Singapore on March 31 with 11 crew members from Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar, the website of Voice of Vietnam radio quoted the coast guard as saying.

At 6 a.m. on April 8, local residents noticed the vessel running aground and catching fire near Ho Thung Village in Duyen Hai District. Border guards rescued four of the crew, all Malaysians, and the vessel was towed to Can Tho port for repairs.

The tug owner also hired a Vietnamese plane to search for the three Malaysians and three Myanmarese and one Indonesian still missing.

The coast guard called for fishermen working along the coast to help find them.

By Friday afternoon, the missing people were yet to be located.

Reported by Ba Dong

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