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American diver missing off Malaysia coast

American diver Kenneth Wayne has gone missing after the yacht he was sailing in, was hit by an unknown vessel. Wayne had been travelling with his friend on a yacht from Phuket for a diving trip to Langkawi and Tioman, and to Singapore.

world Updated: May 25, 2009 13:31 IST

An American diver has gone missing off Malaysia's east coast after the yacht he was sailing in, was hit by an unknown vessel, a maritime official said on Monday.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency official Syed Noradli Syed Abdul Rahman said

Wayne had been travelling with his friend James Edward, 27, on a yacht from the Thai resort island of Phuket for a diving trip to the Malaysian islands of Langkawi and Tioman, and to Singapore, he said.

"Our information shows the yacht arrived in Malaysian waters on early Sunday morning because the American diver wanted to take underwater pictures in the waters off Kuantan," Syed Noradli told AFP. "An unknown vessel then hit the yacht and sped off and the yacht capsized."

Local fishermen rescued Edward and the vessel's three crew members several hours after the collision but Wayne was still missing, police said, according to state media.

Syed Noradli said Edward and the ship's cook, Thai national Butsara Tantaksuwan, were badly injured in the incident while the ship's captain and another crew member suffered minor injuries.