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11 Indonesians missing after tugboat capsizes off Singapore

SINGAPORE, Jan 6 (AFP) - Eleven Indonesians were missing and two others were rescued after a Singapore-registered tugboat capsized Wednesday in waters off the city-state, authorities said.

The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said a passing supply vessel rescued two people from the tugboat who were aboard a life raft about 16 nautical miles east of Pedra Branca island where Singapore operates a lighthouse.

The pair told the authorities that 13 people were aboard their capsized boat.

"The remaining 11 are still unaccounted for. A search and rescue operation by MPA, the Republic of Singapore Air Force, Republic of Singapore Navy and commercial vessels is currently underway," Singapore's port authority said.

"Assets deployed include a helicopter and patrol vessels. MPA has issued navigational broadcasts to vessels in the vicinity to assist with the search and rescue."

All of the 13 are Indonesians, the authority added.

MPA said it has also informed maritime authorities in neighbouring Indonesia about the incident. The tugboat was on its way from Batam, Indonesia to Matak, also in Indonesia. Batam is less than an hour by ferry from Singapore.

MySinchew 2010.01.06


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