Sabah, Malaysia (BBN) – A boat carrying 31 people, including at least 28 Chinese tourists, has gone missing off the Malaysian coast, maritime authorities say.
The boat lost contact after departing the eastern state of Sabah on Saturday, reports BBC.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said search and rescue efforts were being hampered by bad weather.
The incident coincides with the first day of China’s week-long Lunar New Year celebration, which is also marked by ethnic Chinese in Malaysia.
The catamaran boat left Kota Kinabalu on Saturday at 09:00 local time (01:00 GMT) and was heading towards Pulau Mengalum, a popular tourist island 60km (37 miles) west of the city.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said there were three crew members on board the boat.
According to the New Strait Times, the search area covers 400 nautical square miles between Kota Kinabalu and Pulau Mengalum.