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More than two dozen people rescued after Malaysia boat sinking

Officials and media have reported that 25 Chinese nationals have been found alive after a tourist boat sank off eastern Malaysia. Some of the 31 people on board still remain missing.

Most of the 31 passengers and crew on a boat carrying Chinese tourists that disappeared in Malaysian waters on Saturday have been rescued, but at least four people are still unaccounted for, officials and local media said on Sunday.

The boat had left on Saturday morning from the capital of Sabah state, Kota Kinabalu, bound for Pulau Mengalum, an island about 60 kilometers (38 miles) to the west that is popular for swimming and diving. The captain of the vessel reportedly told officials that the boat "broke" after being hit by waves.

The boat owner reported it missing on Saturday evening.

The captain and one of the two crew members were already found earlier on Sunday afternoon. They reported having helped passengers put on life jackets as the boat was sinking.

The search, which has been carried out by several Malaysian navy and police ships and at least one plane, was hampered by high winds and choppy waters.

Many people from China travel abroad during the Lunar New Year holiday, which began on Saturday.

tj/sms (AFP, AP)

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