Boat with 31 tourists on board disappears in Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Authorities say the captain and a crew member from a missing Malaysian boat made it to safety today but others among the 31 people on board, including 28 Chinese tourists, may be drifting in the water waiting to be rescued.

Chinese state television said the crew reported helping passengers put on life jackets as the boat was sinking, then tried to look for help.

The Chinese Consulate General in Kota Kinabalu in the Malaysian state of Sabah said the boat lost contact after leaving Kota Kinabalu on Saturday morning, according to the official Xinhua News Agency said. It was bound for Pulau Mengalum, an island about 60 kilometers (38 miles) west of the city.

The report cited the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency as saying there were 28 Chinese tourists on board. But the Chinese Consulate could only confirm the passport details of 18 Chinese citizens, Xinhua said.

Malaysia deployed search and rescue ships and helicopters after receiving a call Saturday night about the boat’s disappearance, Xinhua reported.

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